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Volume XXI 

January, 1923 



The Princetfeur 


Genuine and Counterfeit Christianity 1 

S. G. Craig 

The Mystic Paths 42 

Robert Claiborne Pitzer 

The Charge against Capitalism 62 

W. M. Clow 

The Conflict over the Old Testament 79 

Oswald T. Allis 

Notes and Notices 116 

Note on the Latin Translations of the Scots Confessions of 
1560 and 1580-1, John Dickie 

Reviews of Recent Literature 123 

Survey of Periodical Literature 154 



The Princeton Theological Review 




Oswald T. Allis 

Each author is solely responsible for the views expressed in his article 
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Entered as Second Class Mail Matter at Princeton, N. J. 


Biederwolf, W. E., Biederwolf’s Evangelistic Sermons . 150 

Bornhausen, K., Pascal . 134 

Brewster, H. S., The Simple Gospel . 149 

Burrows, A. S., Jesus and What He Said . 154 

Churches Allied for Common Tasks, The . 153 

Ell wood, C. A„ The Reconstruction of Religion . 122 

Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America . 153 

Gasquet, Cardinal, Monastic Life in the Middle Ages . 135 

Gowan, J., Homiletics or The Theory of Preaching . 151 

Hicks, J. P., Ten Lessons in Personal Evangelism . 148 

Hunting, H. B., Hebrew Life and Times . 142 

Jackson, F. J. F., An Introduction to the History of Christianity, 

A. D. 590-1314. I2 5 

Keppel, D., That Ye May Believe . 153 

Leach, W. H., How to Make the Church Go . 153 

Ljunggren, G., Zur Geschichte der Christlichen Heilsgewissheit von 

Augustin bis cur Hochscholastik . 131 

I.uccock, G. M., The House God Meant . 151 

Morgan, W., The Religion and Theology of Paul . 143 

Newton, J. F., Preaching in London . 146 

Paton, L. B., Spiritism and the Cult of the Dead in Antiquity . 137 

Potts, C. A., Dictionary of Bible Proper Names . 139 

Smith, P., A Short History of Christian Theophagy . 128 

Webb, R. L., The Ministry as a Life Work . 149 

Wells, A. R., The House of the Lord’s Prayer . 152 

Young, W. J., When God and Man Meet . 152 

Copyright 1913 , by Princeton University Press 

The Princeton 
Theological Review 

JANUARY, 1923 


Among the extra-canonical sayings ascribed to Jesus, 
best entitled to be regarded as genuine, is the saying, “Show 
yourselves approved money-changers.” Many of the Church 
fathers made use of this saying to explain the words, “Prove 
all things: hold fast that which is good,” believing that 
underlying both exhortations is the figure of a money¬ 
changer testing the coins submitted to him to ascertain 
whether they are genuine or counterfeit. Whether or not 
this saying was an actual utterance of Jesus, and was pres¬ 
ent to Paul’s mind when he penned his well-known exhorta¬ 
tion, it directs attention to a qualification much needed by 
Christians today. 

It may seem strange, passing strange, that nearly two 
thousand years after the death of Christ men should be dis¬ 
cussing the question, What is Christianity? None the less 
the question is being everywhere debated; and the most 
divergent answers given and passionately defended, even 
among those calling themselves Christians. So-called lib¬ 
eral Christians, as a rule, define Christianity as “the religion 
of Jesus,” meaning the religion that Jesus taught and prac¬ 
tised, and so value Him exclusively as teacher and example. 
So-called conservative Christians, however, define Christian¬ 
ity as the religion that has Jesus as its object, and while 
yielding to none in their esteem of Him as teacher and 
example yet value Him most of all as Lord and Redeemer. 
Who is right? Among individuals having more or less of 
a following, we find that Royce identified Christianity with 
the sentiment of loyalty, that Sabatier held it to be only 
a high form of altruism, that Macintosh of the Yale Divin¬ 
ity School says it is nothing but morality of a Christ-like 


sort, that Cross of Rochester Theological Seminar}- iden¬ 
tifies it with the highest manifestations of man's religious 
and ethical life to such an extent that he says the only true 
Christianity lies in the future. It is difficult to exaggerate 
the differences between the things called Christianity today. 
Some preach a non-miraculous Christianity; others tell us 
that Christianity bereft of its miracles is Christianity ex¬ 
tinct. Some hold a non-doctrinal Christianity; others are 
convinced that since Christianity is an historical religion a 
non-doctrinal Christianity is an absurdity. Some commend a 
Christless Christianity, or at least a Christianity in which 
Christ is not indispensable; others assure us that such a 
Christianity is nothing short of a contradiction in terms. 
And as though nothing were too extreme to lack advocates, 
there are even those who offer us an atheistic Christianity. 
This is not so surprising when we remind ourselves that 
a Christianity without God is not precluded by those who 
identify it with loyalty or morality or altruism. For can not 
even an atheist be loyal or moral or altruistic, after a fashion 
at least? 

We have made no effort to list the things called Christian¬ 
ity today. In that case we would have to make mention of 
Christian Science, and Theosophy, and Russellism, and Mor- 
monism, and Spiritualism, and Xew Thought, and what 
not ? In fact we live in an age in which nearly every system 
of thought and life designates itself essential Christianity. 
Surely, enough has been said, however, to justify the state¬ 
ment that there has never been a generation of Christians 
who more needed to give heed to the exhortation, “Show 
yourselves approved money-changers/' than the one of which 
we are a part. At the same time it is questionable whether 
there has ever been a generation less qualified for the task. 
If proof be needed, it may be found in two significant books 
published shortly after the conclusion of the Great War, 
dealing with the religious situation among the British 1 and 

1 The Army and Religion, edited by D. S. Cairns. 



American 2 soldiers during that conflict. Both of these books 
report the results of first hand investigations, and perhaps 
the most appalling discovery of all was the almost unbe¬ 
lievable ignorance of Christ and Christianity on the part of 
these soldiers, most of whom had been reared under the 
influence of Christian churches and called themselves Chris¬ 
tians. These soldiers were a cross-section of these nations, 
possibly the two most Christian nations in the world, young 
men probably somewhat above the average intellectually as 
well as physically, so that what was true of them was at 
least equally true of those of similar age who remained at 
home. Do we need to look further to explain the fact that 
so many members of Christian churches fall easy victims to 
every popular expounder of a new Ism, provided he or she 
labels it with the Christian name? The pity of it is that 
multitudes are embracing systems of thought and life that 
lack every essential of historical Christianity, nay more, 
that are positively hostile to all that is most distinctive of 
historical Christianity, who yet cherish the notion that they 
are Christianity’s purest confessors and exemplars, and as 
such its beneficiaries and heirs. 

We are not indeed to suppose that our age is the only 
age that has debated the question, What is Christianity? 
In the nature of the case this question takes precedence 
of all others. Such questions as, Is Christianity true? What 
is the value of Christianity? What claims has Christianity 
on our belief and acceptance? are blind and unmeaning un¬ 
less we know what Christianity is. Wherever Christianity has 
been discussed, therefore, this question has been central. It 
was the storm center between Paul and the Judaizers in the 
first century, between Augustine and Pelagius in the fifth 
century, between the Reformers and the Romanists in the 
sixteenth century, between the Evangelicals and the Deists 
in the eighteenth century. There is this difference, however, 
between the situation in former periods and the situation 

2 Religion among American Men, edited by the Committee on the 
War and Religious Outlook. 



today. In former periods the issue was, for the most part, 
between more or less perfect and more or less imperfect 
answers to our question. Today, to a degree unparalleled 
in former periods, the issue is between answers that involve 
the very right of Christianity, as Christianity has all but 
universally been understood, to exist. This is true to such 
a degree, for instance, that the heirs of the Reformers, 
while as unflinchingly opposed to Rome as were their 
fathers, see in Roman Catholics their allies as over against 
a common enemy—an enemy that retains nothing distinc¬ 
tive of Christianity but the name. 

We do not want to paint the situation in too somber 
colors. Many as are those who retain nothing of Christianity 
but the name, they are a small people, we believe, as com¬ 
pared with those who retain the thing itself. It is not always 
safe to judge the size of a crowd by the noise it makes. 
It seems evident, however, not only that the question, What 
is Christianity? is the primary question before Christendom 
today, but that it is not altogether easy to discover the right 
answer. It might be supposed that in the pulpits of pro¬ 
fessedly Christian churches, and in the halls of professedly 
Christian schools of learning, the right answer would read¬ 
ily be found. Such is not the case. If we seek the answer 
in the churches, we find the most diverse sorts of answers 
being given. The situation is somewhat different in Roman 
Catholic churches, but one who goes about the Protestant 
churches seeking an answer will certainly obtain a very con¬ 
fused notion of what Christianity is. Even within the same 
denomination, absolutely contradictory representations of 
Christianity are being preached. What is true of the pul¬ 
pits is equally true of the theological class rooms. Learned 
professors differ, as never before, in the answers they give 
to this question. Only imagine an inquirer interviewing 
our theological instructors, and out of the interviews ob¬ 
tained endeavoring to construct a consistent notion of what 
Christianity is. When the doctors disagree, what is the 
plain man to do? No wonder Mr. W. R. Matthews in view 



of that “impression of incoherent diversity” created by the 
existing situation should be led to say, “I can imagine a 
man exclaiming, in no flippant spirit, that it is more dif¬ 
ficult to discover what Christianity is than to believe it 
when it be discovered!” 3 This does not mean that Mr. Mat¬ 
thews despairs of discovering what Christianity is. Neither 
do we mean to imply that, in our judgment, it is beyond the 
power of the plain man to discover what Christianity is. 
Notwithstanding the different things called Christianity to¬ 
day we do not think it requires any great scholarship or any 
extraordinary ability to discover what real Christianity is. 
The situation is indeed confusing, because so many sorts of 
coins, bearing the image and superscription of Christianity, 
are in circulation, and yet we think it possible for even the 
plain man by the use of such ordinary care and discretion, 
as characterizes him in the ordinary walks of life, to dis¬ 
tinguish between the genuine and the counterfeit. 

It is of primary importance as we seek an answer to the 
question, What is Christianity? that we realize that we are 
dealing with a historical question. We are seeking to as¬ 
certain the nature, not of a “spontaneous” but of a “his¬ 
torical,” or “founded,” or “positive” religion, a religion 
that had a definite beginning in the life, teaching, and work 
of a particular person. The question, What is Christianity? 
does not differ in kind from the question, What is Dar¬ 
winism? or What is Mormonism? How do we go about it 
to learn what Darwinsm is? Is it not by reading the writings 
of Darwin and by considering the views of his representa¬ 
tive disciples? How do we find out what Mormonism is? 
Is it not by reading the Book of Mormon and by consider¬ 
ing the views of representative Mormons? And how other¬ 
wise can we discover what Christianity is? It cannot be 
too much emphasied, or too often reiterated, that the ques¬ 
tion, What is Christianity? is first, last and always an his¬ 
torical question. Such questions as, Is Christianity true? 
Is Christianity of value? Is Christianity acceptable to the 
3 Studies in Christian Philosophy, p. 36. 


modern man? should be held strictly in abeyance until we 
learn what Christianity is. Christianity may be false as 
Haeckel supposed, as harmful as Nietzsche supposed, as un¬ 
acceptable to the modern man as George Burman Foster 
supposed; but what has that to do with the question what 
manner of thing is it? 

Many, perhaps most, of the wrong answers given to this 
question are due to an initial failure to realize its historical 
nature. As a result the historical question, What is Chris¬ 
tianity? is confused with the rational question, What is 
true? or the ethical question, What is right? or the practical 
question, What is valuable? or the philosophical question, 
What is the highest ideal? Christianity may or may not be 
true—how can we judge that until we know what it is? 
Its contents may be moral or immoral—are we in a position 
to say until we know what they are? It may be worthless 
or beyond price—how can we appraise it until we know 
what it is? It may be a manifestation of the ideal or of a 
comparatively inferior religion—how can we say until we 
at least know what sort of religion it is? An illustration 
may be found in an article entitled, “What is the Christian 
Religion”? by Professor D. C. Macintosh. 4 In the early part 
of this article it is said that redemption in the blood of Christ 
as a sacrifice for sin is “not only not essential to Christianity, 
because contrary to reason, but moreover essentially un¬ 
christian, because opposed to the principles of sound moral¬ 
ity” (p. 18). Later it is contended that the Christian religion 
“must be in essence whatever in actual phenomenal Chris¬ 
tianity is necessary for the realization of the true ideal of 
human spiritual life in general and of human religion in 
particular” (p. 27). It is somewhat difficult to understand, 
however, just why any conception is unchristian merely be¬ 
cause it does not agree with our notion of what is rational 
or moral or the true ideal. It is no doubt interesting to know 
what Professor Macintosh regards as rational and moral, as 
well as his conception of the ideal religion, but it is not so 

4 Harvard. Theological Review, January, 1914. 



clear that this addition to our knowledge furthers our under¬ 
standing of what Christianity is. Of course, if we find in 
Christianity irrational or immoral or unideal elements we 
shall, to that extent at least, reject it—no one advocates 
the acceptance of Christianity whether or not it is irrational 
or immoral. But surely we are not warranted on such grounds 
to say that these, to us, irrational or immoral or unideal ele¬ 
ments are no part of Christianity. The result can only be, 
as in Professor Macintosh’s case, that what is presented as 
Christianity is not so much Christianity as our individual 
conception of what is rational and moral and the true ideal. 
As a matter of fact we have no more right to approach the 
question, What is Christianity? with the assumption that it 
is rational and moral and the ideal religion than we have 
to approach the question, What is Mormonism? with the 
same assumption. Such questions as, Is Christianity true? 
Is it moral? Is it of value? Does it possess the element 
of finality? Is it acceptable to the modern mind? are su¬ 
premely important but they should be disregarded when we 
are considering the question, What is Christianity? It is 
conceivable that the time is ripe to abandon the religion 
founded by Jesus and practiced ever since by His disciples, 
and to substitute some other religion for it, but at any rate 
we can discover what is truly Christian, what is legitimately 
called Christianity, only by historical study. 

It has been much debated whether we are to get our con¬ 
ception of Christianity exclusively from its early presentation 
in the New Testament or from its whole historical mani¬ 
festation. It is obvious that Christianity, or at least what 
is called Christianity, not only existed in the first century 
but exists today; and that if this were not the case few 
of us would have any interest in the question, What is 
Christianity? It is clear also that unless Christianity in 
some of its historical manifestations has adhered to its origi¬ 
nal type, so that there is such a thing as a fundamental 
type of Christianity which has remained essentially the 
same in the midst of its ever-changing environment and 



through all the forms it has assumed, there is not only no 
Christianity in the world at present essentially the same as 
New Testament Christianity, but all conceptions of Chris¬ 
tianity derived from its historical manifestation as a whole 
are essentially wrong conceptions. In that case we can obtain 
even a relatively right estimate of Christianity only as we 
confine our attention to its New Testament presentation. 
But on the assumption that Christianity has adhered to type 
closely enough to warrant Warfield in saying that “impure 
as the development of Christianity has been, imperfect as has 
always been its manifestation, corrupt as has often been its 
expression, it has always presented itself to the world, as a 
whole, substantially under one unvarying form,” 5 it is evi¬ 
dent that we can obtain a more or less adequate conception of 
the Christian religion by considering its historical manifesta¬ 
tion as a world phenomenon. 

If we had to choose between getting our conception of 
Christianity from its New Testament manifestation and its 
historical manifestation as a whole, unquestionably we should 
get it from the former. As a “founded” religion Christianity 
derives its specific content from its founders, Christ and His 
apostles. As such nothing can be regarded as belonging to its 
essential content that does not appear in New Testament 
Christianity or cannot be legitimately deduced from it. Not 
only may nothing be insisted on as essential to Christianity 
that lacks New Testament support, but all its later manifesta¬ 
tions are to be classified as pure or corrupt, as adequate or in¬ 
adequate, by reference to this original content. Moreover as 
judged by this standard all later manifestations are imper¬ 
fect and some of them largely apostate. And yet, while we 
ought to attach primary significance to the New Testament 
presentation in formulating our conception of Christianity, 
we ought not to neglect its later historical manifestations. It 
is conceivable, no doubt that at an early date Christianity de¬ 
parted so radically from type that historical Christianity as 
a whole is a totally different religion from the religion of the 

5 Harvard Theological Review, October, 1912, p. 462. 



New Testament, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to believe 
that such is the case and at the same time believe that the 
religion of the New Testament is a God-given religion and its 
founder the Son of God. It is scarcely supposable that nine¬ 
teen centuries elapsed before Christ’s promise of His Spirit 
to guide His disciples into truth began to be fulfilled. And 
unless practically the whole historical development of Chris¬ 
tianity has been a departure from type, it is altogether prob¬ 
able that this historical development has some help to offer to 
those desirous of ascertaining its essential content. 

Granted that there has been corruption, is it not also rea¬ 
sonable to expect explication? In fact apart from the explica¬ 
tion afforded by its whole historical manifestation no one of 
us today would have any adequate conception of what Chris¬ 
tianity is. The deposit of divine truth in the teachings of 
Christ and His apostles has not supplied merely the starting- 
point in the development of doctrine in the church; it has 
rather supplied the goal towards which we are still slowly and 
painfully striving. It is an illusion to suppose that any of us 
have gotten our conception of Christianity direct from the 
New Testament uninfluenced by the later historical develop¬ 
ments. We no more draw our conception of Christianity at 
first hand from the New Testament than we draw our scien¬ 
tific knowledge direct from nature, unaided by text-books, 
or the laborious researches of others. Athanasius and Augus¬ 
tine and Anselm, and Luther and Calvin, not to mention oth¬ 
ers, have not labored in vain. And it is because we have en¬ 
tered into their labors that we have a more adequate concep¬ 
tion of Christianity than did the Christians of the second 
century. This is not to deny, rather it is to affirm, that every¬ 
thing presented as an essential element of Christianity must 
be able to present New Testament credentials; but it is to 
maintain that actually our conception of Christianity is de¬ 
rived both from its New Testament presentation and its 
whole historical manifestation. Granted that the New Testa¬ 
ment is our original and only authoritative source of knowl¬ 
edge, and that we must be constantly on our guard when 



considering the later developments lest we look upon perver¬ 
sions or even falsifications of Christianity as being in the line 
of true development, it is none the less true that we, for the 
most part at least, have been so largely influenced in our in¬ 
terpretation of the New Testament by the teaching of the ex¬ 
isting churches as expressed in their creeds and especially as 
expressed by their accredited teachers that unless Christianity 
has adhered somewhat closely to type there is little reason 
to suppose that there is much real Christiaunity in the world 

The assumption that Christianity has, broadly speaking, 
conformed to type does not pass unchallenged. It is denied 
by two influential schools of thought. For want of better 
names, yet with substantial accuracy, they may be called the 
liberal and the modernist schools. According to the “Lib¬ 
erals," composed of such men as Harnack, Bousset, Wrede, 
and their host of followers, almost the entire historical mani¬ 
festation of Christianity has been a radical departure from 
type. Almost immediately after the death of Christ, they 
tell us, the “religion of Jesus” was transformed, refashioned, 
made over, radically altered, under the influence of the pre- 
Christian beliefs of His earliest followers. The religion of 
the “primitive community” was in turn overlaid and trans¬ 
formed by the theological constructions of Paul, with the 
result that it is Paulinism rather than Christianity with 
which Church history for the most part concerns itself. 
These scholars all but unanimously admit that the Chris¬ 
tianity that has dominated the ages is essentially one with 
Paulinism; hence that since Paul Christianity has conformed 
rather closely to type. They maintain, however, that there 
are two high mountains through which we must tunnel, if 
we are to pass from Paulinism to the Christianity of Jesus. 
The first mountain lies between Paulinism and the religion 
of the “primitive community”; the second between the re¬ 
ligion of the “primitive community” and the “religion of 
Jesus.” Henry C. Yedder is only repeating the view that has 
become traditional in “Liberal” circles when he writes: “The 


publication of the words of Jesus in the Gospels found 
men’s minds preoccupied with other ideas, and his teachings 
made little impression. The Christians of A.D. 80, and after¬ 
ward, supposed they were following closely in the footsteps 
of the Master, when they had really cast aside the most im¬ 
portant of his instructions and adopted an ideal of life alto¬ 
gether foreign to his. It required nineteen centuries after that 
for men to catch sight once more of what Jesus intended and 
hoped to accomplish.” 6 

Did Christianity thus early depart from type? Did the 
“primitive community” more or less unconsciously trans¬ 
form the teachings of Jesus into something quite different? 
Was Paul rather than Jesus the founder of historical Chris¬ 
tianity? It is becoming increasingly clear that insuperable 
obstacles lie in the way of this thesis. Paul certainly did not 
regard himself as the founder of a new religion; he ex¬ 
plicitly denies that he preached any other Gospel than that 
which had been preached. Harnack himself admits that 
Paul was not the originator of the Gospel he preached. To 
the great surprise of many “Liberals,” to whom it had be¬ 
come traditional that Paul was “the second founder'' of 
Christianity, he said in the address which he delivered before 
the Fifth International Congress of Free Christianity and 
Religious Progress: 

The declaration that “Christ died for our sins according to 
the Scriptures” Paul indicates to be a traditional, therefore a 
generally, accepted article of faith of the first rank; and he says 
the same concerning the resurrection of Christ. According to 
this it is certain that the first apostles also, as well as the con¬ 
gregation at Jerusalem, shared this conviction and doctrine. 
This is also proved by the first chapters of the Book of Acts, 
the credibility of which is indisputable in this respect. There¬ 
fore the problem must be moved back chronologically from Paul 
to the first disciples of Christ, who had already preached the 
dying of Christ for sin and His resurrection. If they preached 
it, however, they recognized it at once as the main factor, there¬ 
fore as “the Gospel” within the Gospel, and this indeed is clear¬ 
ly shown in the oldest written Gospel that we have, namely that 
of Mark. The whole work of Mark is so disposed and composed 

The Fundamentals of Christianity, p. 97. 



that death and resurrection appear as the aim of the entire pre¬ 
sentation. Even if Mark was admittedly influenced by the 
preaching of Paul, yet the Gospel specially written for the Jews, 
that according to Matthew, has the same form. It could not then 
have been new to the Christians of Palestine. 7 

It is to be regretted that Harnack does not see that what 
Paul received from the “primitive community,” the “primi¬ 
tive community” received from Jesus himself; but that is no 
reason why we should not. We have abundant reason for so 
doing. It has proved impossible to discover a more primitive 
Gospel than that of the “primitive community.” Not only 
is it clearer than ever that the same Christ meets us in all 
the books of the New Testament, so that the Christ of 
Paul and John does not differ essentially from the Christ 
of the Svnoptists, but literary and historical criticism has 
failed to discover any Christ more primitive than the Christ 
of the New Testament. The choice at the end of the day is 
seen to be between the Christ of the New Testament and no 
Christ at all. On the basis of a detailed examination of the 
relevant evidence James Denney affirmed, and all sound 
scholarship supports the affirmation, that “Christianity never 
existed in the world as a religion in which men shared the 
faith of Jesus, but was from the very beginning, and amid 
all undeniable diversities, a religion in which Jesus was the 
object of faith.” 8 The only sound conclusion, therefore, is 
that not only in the mind of Paul but in the mind of the 
“primitive community,” and not only in the mind of the 
“primitive community” but in the mind of Jesus himself, 
the religion He founded is in fundamental accord with 
historical Christianity. 9 

7 Proceedings and Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Free 
Christianity and Religious Progress, p. ioi. 

8 Jesus and the Gospel, p. 12. 

9 For detailed support of this judgment the following references 
among others may be consulted. The Lord of Glory by B. B. Warfield, 
especially pages 146-173; Jesus and the Gospel by James Denney, es¬ 
pecially pages 1-90; The Origin of Paul’s Religion by J. Gresham 
Machen. Prof. Machen’s book is specially important in this connection 
as it contains, it seems to us, a triumphant refutation of the leading 


That Christianity has not held at all closely to type is 
also maintained by the “Modernists” in both Catholic and 
Protestant circles. According to the “Modernists” the Chris¬ 
tianity of Jesus was but the germ out of which later Chris¬ 
tianity has grown. Their attitude toward the New Testament 
literature is often more radical even than that of the “Lib¬ 
erals,” but when they have discovered the “Christianity of 
Christ” they do not identify this with true Christianity and 
use it as a norm to discriminate between its pure and its 
corrupt manifestations; they treat it merely as the seed out 
of which the tree of Christianity has grown. While the 
“Liberals” show a tendency to treat the historical develop¬ 
ments of Christianity as though they had no bearing on the 
question, What is Christianity? the “Modernists” show a 
tendency to treat its earliest manifestations as seen in Jesus 
and his immediate disciples as a more or less negligible 
quantity in answering this question. With them Christian¬ 
ity is a living and growing thing; and the important matter 
is not what it was nearly two thousand years ago but what 
it is today. Lyman Abbott was writing under the influence 
of this point of view—the pioneer and perhaps the best 
representative of which is Loisy 10 —when he wrote: “The 
Christianity of the Twentieth Century is not the same as 
the Christianity of Jesus Christ; and it ought not to be. 
For Christianity is a life, and after nineteen centuries of 
growth it can no more be the same it was in the First Century 
than an oak is the same as an acorn l” 11 Harry Emerson Fos- 
dick under the same influence writes: “The progressiveness 
of Christianity is not simply its response to a progressive 
age; the progressiveness of Christianity springs from its 
own inherent vitality. So far is this from being regrettable, 
that a modern Christian rejoices in it and gladly recog¬ 
nizes not only that he is thinking thoughts and undertaking 

explanations of Paulinism that regard it as other than the religion 
Jesus founded. 

10 The Gospel and the Church. 

11 What Christianity means to me, Prologue, p. vii. 



enterprises which his fathers would not have understood, 
but also that his children after him will differ quite as 
much in teaching and practice from the modernity of to¬ 
day.’' 12 George Cross gives expression to the same point of 
view when he makes such statements as these: “It must 
not be assumed that there are available for our use any 
fixed standard tests for the final determination of what is 
truly Christian as distinct from that which claims to be 
Christian”; “It is even possible—and we say it with the 
very deepest reverence for him in our hearts—that if all the 
teachings of Jesus were brought together in the exact form 
in which he gave them there might be found among them 
some that would not commend themselves as fixed and final 
to the most intelligent and devout Christians of the present 
day”; “We know of nothing that has remained or can re¬ 
main unchanged from the inception of the Christian faith 
down to the present”; “The Christianity of yesterday was 
creative of the Christianity of today at the same time the 
Christianity of today is more and somewhat other than the 
Christianity of yesterday. For it recreates that which came 
from the past and makes it new.” 13 

In order that we may believe, in the face of the “Modern¬ 
ists,” that there is such a thing as a fundamental type of 
Christianity that has persisted throughout the ages, it is not 
necessary that we consider the tenability of their evolution¬ 
ism—the dominating concept under which they operate. If 
we were discussing the finality of Christianity that might be 
necessary; but not when we are merely asking, What is 
Christianity? For our present purpose, it is enough if we 
can show that since its origin some nineteen hundred years 
ago it has held so closely to type that much of the Chris¬ 
tianity of today is essentially the same as the Christianity of 
Christ and His apostles. We readily admit that if some of the 
things called Christianity today can substantiate their claim 
to the name, Christianity has radically departed from type. 

12 Christianity and Progress, p. 164. 

13 Creative Christianity, pp. 26, 34, 47 and 52. 



What however if these things are rightly spoken of as Chris¬ 
tianity falsely so-called? No doubt the “Modernists” can 
make a more or less plausible defense of their thesis; but 
we are confident that they do this only by ignoring the 
distinction between fluctuations and mutations in the history 
of Christianity. Ignoring this distinction they treat the cur¬ 
rents and eddies along the edge as though they were the 
main stream of Christian history. Thus they create the im¬ 
pression of a departure from type where none exists. 

The real issue raised by the “Modernists” is whether 
Christianity as a world-phenomenon has held fundamentally 
to type, and whatever the fluctuations that have marked its 
history has shown an unmistakable tendency to revert to 
its fundamental type as seen in its founders, Christ and His 
apostles. We have already indicated our reasons for suppos¬ 
ing that Paulinism is one with original Christianity; hence 
all that we need to do to show that Christianity, broadly 
speaking, has not departed fundamentally from type is to 
show that historical or traditional Christianity is essentially 
one with Paulinism. This is not difficult to do. It is not even 
necessary in dealing with the “Liberals.” They are all but 
unanimous in admitting it. So outstanding a representative 
as Bousset charges “the orthodox” with “basing the truth of 
their whole system and the form of their faith on a fan¬ 
tastic mythical-dogmatic interpretation of the life of Jesus 
by Paul.” 14 And Wrede says it was Paul who “introduced 
into Christianity the ideas whose influence on its history up 
to the present time has been deepest and most far-reaching.” 15 
Neither is it necessary in the case of the ordinary Chris¬ 
tian. The rank and file of those calling themselves Christians 
are not conscious of any fundamental discrepancy between 
their own religion and Paulinism. They may like Peter find 
“some things hard to be understood” in Paul’s writings but 

14 The Significance of the Personality of Jesus Christ for Belief in 
Proceedings and Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Free 
Christianity and Religious Progress, p. 209. 

15 Paul, p. 179. 


as far as they understand them his teachings find a ready 
response in their souls. Even a non-Christian can scarcely 
read a volume like Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom without 
realizing that while these creeds express Paulinism with 
various degrees of purity yet they are expressions of Paul¬ 

The sharp contrasts, so frequently made by “Modernists,” 
between the later and the earliest forms of Christianity 
should not be taken very seriously. To estimate them at their 
true value we need only remember that what they are con¬ 
trasting is not later Christianity and Paulinism, or even 
pre-Pauline Christianity, but later Christianity and the Chris¬ 
tianity they find in the early Christian literature after that 
literature has been reconstructed on the basis of their natu¬ 
ralistic postulates. While they professedly contrast later 
Christianity and the “religion of Jesus”; yet what they call 
the “religion of Jesus,” is about as different from the re¬ 
ligion that Jesus actually founded as any religion could pos¬ 
sibly be. It is not maintained, of course, that there is no con¬ 
trast between the religion that Jesus founded and later Chris¬ 
tianity—imperfect and degenerate types meet us always and 
everywhere in later Christianity; nowhere do we find ab¬ 
solutely pure Christianity—but it is maintained without fear 
of successful contradiction that on the whole Christianity 
has held closely enough to type to enable the plain man to 
see and feel the gulf between Christianity and all other 
forms of religion. 

It is sometimes assumed that we can obtain a sufficiently 
exact answer to the question, What is Christianity? merely 
by ascertaining what is common to those professing and 
calling themselves Christians, what is common being re¬ 
garded as essential and what is not common as unessential. 
Accordingly some tell us that Christianity is what has been 
held by those professing and calling themselves Christians 
during the past nineteen hundred years, while others, more 
under the influence of evolution, tell us that the Christianity 
of any age, including our own age, is what is held by those 


I 7 

of that age who profess and call themselves Christians. 
Whether we taken the problem chronologically or geograph¬ 
ically, the method is fatally inadequate. Suppose that any con¬ 
siderable number of those that have called, or do call, them¬ 
selves Christians were, or are, not really Christians at all. Then 
what has been, or is, held in common contains nothing spe¬ 
cifically Christian; also the non-Christian forms of thought 
would be left out. But even if we suppose that all those who 
have called, or do call, themselves Christians were, or are, 
really Christians, such a mode of procedure would only give 
us the minimum of Christianity, the very least a man can hold 
and still call himself a Christian. Otherwise the most at¬ 
tenuated forms of Christianity of which we have knowledge 
would be excluded. Suppose we ask the question, What is 
a man? Do we merely want to know what all men have, or 
have had, in common? If so we are trying to discover the 
poorest, meanest, least developed specimen, physically, in¬ 
tellectually and morally, that has existed, or does exist, en¬ 
titled to be called a man. Do we not rather want to know 
what a normal or representative man is? Surely it is not 
otherwise when we ask, What is Christianity? We are in¬ 
quiring what normal, representative Christianity is, not the 
most attenuated, contentless form of thought that can possi¬ 
bly call itself Christianity. At its very best this method can 
only give us the minimum of Christianity. But unless we are 
wholly wrong in supposing that there has been—and es¬ 
pecially that there is—much counterfeit Christianity in the 
world, it will not even give us this. It will merely give us 
what Christianity has in common with natural religion. Un¬ 
questionably Christianity and natural religion have much 
in common. They may both teach faith in God and duty 
and immortality but what they teach in common will not in¬ 
clude anything distinctly Christian. 

If now we approach the question, What is Christianity? 
with these two assumptions (i) that it is a “founded” religion 
that has a specific content of its own derived ultimately from 
Jesus Christ and (2) that since its founding it has, broadly 


speaking, not ‘'run wild” but adhered to type—and apart 
from these assumptions Christianity is a word without defi¬ 
nite meaning—what do we discover? 

If we approach the question in that purely objective man¬ 
ner which alone befits our approach to an historical question, 
we will discover, first of all, whether we consider the Chris¬ 
tianity of the New Testament or the whole of its historical 
manifestation, that it is a religion that ascribes its begin¬ 
ning and its continuance to the person of Jesus Christ. Chris¬ 
tianity is not the only religion that ascribes its origin to the 
life, teaching and work of a person—Buddhism and Mo¬ 
hammedanism do the same, to mention no others—but in no 
other religion does its founder occupy such a position as 
Jesus occupies in Christianity. For Christianity Jesus is 
much more than founder: He is also a present object of wor¬ 
ship. He is conceived not only as one who was but as one 
who is, not only as one who lived and worked in the past 
but as one who lives and works still, so that Christianity has 
been as dependent on Him through the ages—is as depen¬ 
dent on Him today—as when He trod the earth. Buddha 
and Mohammed might be forgotten and the religions they 
founded remain essentially what they are, because the bond 
that binds their followers together is not so much loyalty 
to their persons, much as they have been honored as more 
or less deified persons, as loyalty to the principles and pre¬ 
cepts they taught and exemplified. Could they behold the 
things done on earth, they would be satisfied if they saw 
the principles they taught ruling in the hearts of men. It 
is far otherwise in the case of Christ. He promised to be 
with His disciples to the end of the world, and desires the 
love, trust, obedience and worship of mankind. He is not 
satisfied to see men observing the things He commanded, 
even if they observe them in a spirit of love, unless they act 
out of a consideration for Himself. Paul expressed the 
mind and hope of Christ for all mankind when he wrote to 
the Colossians: “And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to 



God the Father through Him.” Where He is forgotten or 
ignored, even if His spirit lives on in individuals or even 
communities and much of what He taught is known and 
done, Christianity does not exist. For Christ is Christianity 
itself. He does not merely point out the way to God and sal¬ 
vation : He is the Way itself. 

We discover in the next place, as a no less outstanding 
characteristic of Christianity, that it is a redemptive re¬ 
ligion—a redemptive religion not in the vague sense char¬ 
acteristic of other religions but in the particular sense that 
it offers salvation from sin, conceived as guilt and power 
and pollution, through the expiatory death of Jesus Christ. 
The object of Christian faith has never been Christ simpli- 
ter but always Christ as crucified. It may even be said that 
the thought of Christianity as a redemptive religion in this 
specific sense is more prominent than the thought of it as 
a religion that ascribes its origin and continuance to Christ 
—Christ being valued most of all because of His redeeming 
work. It has ever been recognized that all that Christ ex¬ 
perienced on earth, all He said and did during that period, 
contributed toward giving Him as the living one the sig¬ 
nificance He possesses; but unquestionably it has always 
been recognized that what contributed most was His death 
on the Cross. It has always been confessed, and not only 
confessed but placed in the very center of the Christian 
confession, that apart from that death He would not be 
qualified to be our redeemer, to grant unto us the forgive¬ 
ness of our sins and an inheritance among those who are 
sanctified through faith in Him. With Paul the Church 
Universal has proclaimed as the most important fact of 
all that Christ died for our sins. Every great branch of the 
Christian Church has assigned to His death, regarded as 
an expiatory sacrifice, the place of primary importance. 
This appears whether we regard the writings of their repre¬ 
sentative theologians, the statements of their official creeds, 
or their hymns and spiritual songs. Greek Catholics and 
Roman Catholics and Protestants have at least been united 



in accepting the Cross as the symbol of Christianity and 
in singing the praises of the “Lamb that was slain.” 

In view of the anti-supernaturalism of the age there is 
need of stressing a third characteristic, viz., the super¬ 
naturalism of Christianity. In the nature of the case a re¬ 
ligion that looks upon a historical person not only as hav¬ 
ing lived in the past but as living in the present, and living 
as an object of faith, is supematuralistic to the core. It is 
equally evident that a religion that offers salvation from sin, 
felt as guilt and power and pollution, on the basis of the 
death of this object of worship is through and through a 
supernatural religion—both as regards what happened two 
thousand years ago and what takes place in human hearts 
today. It should be added perhaps that we must consider the 
future as well as the past and present, if we would adequate¬ 
ly appreciate the supernaturalism of Christianity. It is not 
enough that we recognize the supernatural in the sense of 
creative acts of God in human history that have brought 
about, and are bringing about, in human history phenomena 
impossible through the unaided operation of natural causes, 
however divinely guided: there must also be a frank recog¬ 
nition of the fact that the immortality that Christianity 
posits both for the individual and the race cannot be realized 
apart from similiar manifestations of the supernatural. The 
eschatological interest is not an appendage to Christian ex¬ 
perience; it is essential to its very being. The salvation the 
Christian embraces is a salvation for the life to come even 
more than for the life that now is. As a result the center of 
gravity for Christian thought and life is in the world to come. 
A religion whose circumference does not extend beyond the 
present life and the present world, and which does not have a 
supematuralistic eschatological outlook, lacks one of the out¬ 
standing characteristics of historic and especially New Testa¬ 
ment Christianity. In describing Christianity as a world- 
phenomenon it will not do to say, therefore, that although the 
supernatural element has never been absent from its procla¬ 
mation, yet it has always been an element near the periphery 
of its message. Such a representation is so inadequate as to 



be palpably misleading. It is only because men insist on apply¬ 
ing the name “Christianity’’ to things that lack all that is dis¬ 
tinctive of historical Christianity that such a representation is 
possible. Whatever our personal attitude toward the super¬ 
natural, there is no occasion for concealing from ourselves, or 
of seeking to conceal from others, the fact that the super¬ 
natural so enters into the very substance of Christianity as a 
world-phenomenon that Christianity de-supernaturalized is 
Christianity extinct. 

So pronounced, so wide-spread is that naturalism of 
thought and sentiment characteristic of the present age 
that we are apt to forget that it is of comparatively recent 
origin. Previous to the so-called “Enlightenment” of the 
eighteenth century all life and world views, both within 
and without Christian circles, were supernaturalistic. Then 
appeared for the first time the so-called empirico-scientific 
conception which professes to explain the entire world, in¬ 
cluding man and religion and morality, without the aid of 
any supernatural factor, purely from resident forces and ac¬ 
cording to unvarying laws. It is only within the last fifty 
years, however, that it has grown to such proportions as to 
have the courage to contest the right of historical Christian¬ 
ity to dominate the thought and life of the future. It was 
only to be expected that an increasing effort to naturalize 
Christianity would go hand in hand with the increasing 
acceptance of this anti-supernaturalistic life and world view. 
A galaxy of brilliant scholars have devoted themselves to 
the task. If they have failed, as we believe they have, it has 
only been because they were attempting the impossible. It 
admits of no denial that historical Christianity, including 
the Christianity of New Testament times, claims to be 
supernatural. Men used to argue in an amusingly learned 
way that, whatever might be true of Paul and John, the 
Synoptists present us with an essentially human Jesus. That 
day is past. Even Bousset says: “For the belief of the com¬ 
munity, which is shared already by the oldest evangelist, 
Jesus is the miraculous Son of God, on whom men believe, 


whom men put wholly on the side of God.” 16 The Jesus 
of the first three Gospels is a supernatural Jesus. At this 
point, then, radical and conservative scholarship agree. The 
movement of thought in the attempt to naturalize Chris¬ 
tianity, therefore, seems to be something like this. The 
Jesus even of Mark, assumed to be the oldest Gospel, is a 
supernatural Jesus. But the supernatural as a factor in 
human life is a figment of the imagination. Hence there 
must be a Jesus more primitive than the Jesus of the 
evangelists, and this Jesus must be a purely natural Jesus. 
The natural and the supernatural elements in the narratives, 
however, are so inextricably interwoven as to be inseparable. 
The supernatural elements are as well attested as the natural 
elements. It is not surprising, therefore, that the more radi¬ 
cal—should we not say the more consistent?—of the natu¬ 
ralistic critics are denying that Jesus ever existed. At any 
rate there seems to be as good reason for saying that there 
was no Jesus at all behind the Jesus of the evangelists as 
that back of the Jesus of the evangelists there was a purely 
human Jesus. All the historical evidence we have at least 
points to a supernatural Jesus. 

But even supposing it were possible to get back of the Jesus 
of the evangelists to a more primitive Jesus, Christianity 
would still remain unexplained. The Jesus that even the 
more conservative of the naturalistic critics rescue for us 
—the fanatic or paranoic Jesus of some is worse than no 
Jesus at all—is useless as an explanation of the origin and 
continuance of historic Christianity. If the Jesus of the 
evangelists is essentially a fictitious character, how has it 
come about that He has exerted as great an influence in his¬ 
tory as if He were historical? As the late Professor A. M. 
Fairbairn put it: “We have not solved, we have not even 
stated and defined, the problem as to the person of Jesus when 
we have written the life of Jesus, for that problem is raised 
less by the Gospels than by Christ's place and function 
in the collective history of man.” “Christ has to be fitted 

16 fVas Wissen zuir von Jesus, p. 57. 


into our scheme of things, and we have to explain (i) how 
His historical action has corresponded to His fictitious rather 
than His real character; and (2) what sort of blind accident 
or ironical indifference to right can reign in a universe which 
has allowed to fiction greater powers than have been granted 
to truth .” 17 In arguing that it requires the supernatural 
Jesus of the New Testament to account for the Christianity 
of history we are not appealing to the argument from effects 
because we are sceptical of the ability of historical criticism 
to give us not only an actual but a supernatural Jesus. We 
are merely pointing out an additional reason for believing 
in a supernatural Jesus. As a matter of fact either the Jesus 
of the New Testament is the primitive, the only historical 
Jesus, or all knowledge of such a Jesus is lost beyond re¬ 
covery. We have been hearing a good deal of the mythical 
Jesus; we need not hesitate to affirm however that it is 
“the desupernaturalized Jesus which is the mythical Jesus, 
who never had any existence, the postulation of the exist¬ 
ence of whom explains nothing and leaves the whole his¬ 
torical development hanging in the air.” 

Since the only Christianity discoverable in the first century 
is a supernatural Christianity, and since this is the only 
Christianity that has been dominant in later ages, it seems 
clear that when we are asked, What is Christianity? we must 
reply that it is through and through a supernatural religion. 
We may or may not like supernaturalism, but it is scarcely 
open to us to deny that it is essential to Christianity. 

If then we investigate Christianity, whether as it appears 
in its founders or as it appears during its whole historical 
manifestation, intent merely on learning what it is, we 
discover that, whatever else it may be, Christianity is that 
specific religion that had its origin and finds its continuance 
in the life, work and teachings of Jesus Christ, He being 
conceived of so highly, after so supernatural a fashion, that 
He is placed side by side with God as a proper object of 
worship. More particularly it is that redemptive religion that 

17 The Philosophy of the Christian Religion, p. 13-14. 



provides for mankind a salvation from sin, felt as guilt and 
power and pollution, through the expiatory death of this 
God-man—both for this life and the life to come. 

Men may like or they may dislike such a religion. They 
may think it rational or irrational, moral or immoral. They 
may esteem it their chief treasure, that without which they 
would be utterly undone; or they may appraise it as a thing 
of no value, or even as a thing to be destroyed because 
positively harmful. Be their judgment of it what it may, 
true or false, moral or immoral, valuable or worthless, it 
is vain and futile for them—in the presence of those who 
have the earliest Christian writings in one hand and a re¬ 
liable history of Christian thought in the other—to deny that 
as a matter of fact this is the sort of religion which Chris¬ 
tianity is. 

We do not claim that the definition of Christianity just giv¬ 
en specifies all that makes Christianity what it is. We do not 
even allege that Christianity is to be found wherever any, 
or even all, of the things mentioned in this definition are 
believed. No doubt Christianity is to be found wherever 
these things are confessed in their New Testament meaning 
and with their New Testament accompaniments. They have 
been so frequently confessed, however, in connection with 
beliefs that practically nullify their significance as to preclude 
our finding either in logic or history warrant for saying that 
Christianity is to be found wherever these things are be¬ 
lieved. But while we cannot always say of those who con¬ 
fess these things that they have an adequate Christianity, or 
even any real Christianity at all, we can and do say that 
where these things are not believed there is no Christianity. 
That is to say, though the presence of these things does not 
necessarily spell Christianity, their absence does spell some¬ 
thing other than Christianity. In the light of the whole 
historical manifestation of Christianity it cannot be denied 
that it has been all but unanimously recognized that without 
these things there is no Christianity. It has been reserved 
for the “Liberals” and the “Modernists” of the present age 


to commend as Christianity a somewhat that lacks these 
characteristics. Previous to their appearance on the stage 
no considerable group of those calling themselves Chris¬ 
tians commended a non-miraculous Christianity or a Chris¬ 
tianity without a Christ who ranked with God or a Chris¬ 
tianity without a place for the Cross as an atoning sacri¬ 
fice. So firmly did the founders of Christianity stamp these 
things on the religion they established, or rather to such a 
degree do these things constitute its substance, that, until 
recently, it was all but universally true that even the most 
debased and corrupted forms of Christianity have recog¬ 
nized them as essential elements of Christianity. Even the 
“Liberals” and “Modernists” do not deny that the Christian¬ 
ity of the ages is derived in this respect directly from the 
New Testament. In order to find in history any real war¬ 
rant for their conceptions of Christianity they are compelled, 
as we have pointed out, to maintain that the New Testament 
represents a falsification of true Christianity. They have 
failed, however, to find a more primitive Christianity than 
that of the New Testament; in fact, their efforts have served 
to make increasingly clear that New Testament Christian¬ 
ity is primitive Christianity. We are more fully warranted 
than ever therefore in affirming—if such language can be 
used without exaggeration—that the things specified in our 
definition of Christianity are things without which there is 
no Christianity. 

Before making use of our definition as a means of dis¬ 
covering whether any of the things widely called Christianity 
are falsely so called, it may be well to anticipate a serious 
and far reaching objection that is sure to be made to our 
method. It will be objected that the test we apply is a 
doctrinal one and that doctrines are not essential to Chris¬ 
tianity. This objection has two forms. Sometimes it is said 
that Christianity consists in its facts not its doctrines; more 
frequently that Christianity is life not doctrines. If the ob¬ 
jection in either of its forms is valid the test we commend 


is valueless. For unquestionably the test we propose is a 
doctrinal one in the sense meant by these objectors. 

We are told that Christianity consists in its facts not its 
doctrines. But what are Christian doctrines if not inter¬ 
pretations of its facts? Will the facts alone give us Chris¬ 
tianity? Certainly the facts are of primary importance. 
Doctrines which are not interpretations of facts are at the 
best myths and at the worst lies. And yet the facts alone 
are dumb and unmeaning. Give the facts no interpretation 
and they will not give us Christianity; give them an inter¬ 
pretation other than that of the New Testament and they 
will yield us something other than Christianity. Where a 
fact and its proper interpretation are under discussion men 
may differ as to which is the proper interpretation; but it 
is idle to suppose that they can agree as to the fact and its 
value while differing as to its interpretation, or that they 
can agree to be content with no interpretation at all. It 
seems to us that James Denney did not go too far when he 
wrote: “A fact of which there is absolutely no theory is 
a fact which stands out of relation to everything in the 
universe, a fact which has no connection with any part of 
our experience; it is a blank unintelligibility, a rock in 
the sky, a mere irrelevance in the mind of man. There is no 
such thing conceivable as a fact of which there is no theory, 
or even a fact of which we have no theory; such a thing 
could not enter our world at all; if there could be such a 
thing, it would be so far from having the virtue to redeem 
us from sin, that it would have no interest for us and no 
effect upon us at all .” 18 But whether he did or not, it is 
evident that the distinction between facts and their inter¬ 
pretations has no application when we are concerned with 
that concrete phenomenon we call Christianity. This at 
any rate is a somewhat constituted not merely by its facts, 
but by its facts as understood in a particular way, that is to 
say by its doctrines as well as its facts. Neither alone give 
us Christianity as it meets us in history; hence as long as 

18 Studies in Theology, p. 106. 



our primary aim is to discover not the truth or the value 
of Christianity but merely what it is, any and all dis¬ 
cussion of the validity of the distinction between facts and 
doctrines is wholly irrelevant. Be the validity of the dis¬ 
tinction what it may, Christianity as it appears in its found¬ 
ers and as a world-phenomenon goes to pieces when either 
its facts or its doctrines are eliminated, for in it the two 
are inextricably intertwined. 

We have yet to consider the objection in its other form, 
the form in which it makes its widest appeal. Christianity, 
we are told, is life not doctrines. Christian doctrines are 
products rather than producers of the Christian life. They 
are the changing intellectual expression of the life that pre¬ 
cedes them, logically and chronologically. As such they come 
and go, but new ones constantly take their place as the prod¬ 
uct of that life that is found in living Christian men and 
women. As such they possess no absolute significance, and 
provided they express the life one set of doctrines is as good 
as the other. The life is the principal thing, the one thing 
of vital importance; as long as it flourishes the doctrines 
may be left to take care of themselves. The doctrines have 
a certain value as the intellectual expression of the life and 
as a means of cultivating the life; but their place is always 
secondary never primary. Expressed in this form the ob¬ 
jection has a pious ring. It is true that Christianity is a 
life—no one ever denied it—but is it so clear that this life 
is the mother of its doctrines? What if the life is the product 
of the doctrines rather than the doctrines the product of the 
life? In that case to say that the doctrines are of secondary 
importance is like saying that apple trees are of secondary 
importance as compared with the apples they bear. 

Is it true that Christianity is life not doctrines? Such a 
statement belongs manifestly in the sphere of history and 
must, therefore, be subject to historical investigation. It 
is a declaration the same in kind as if we were to say that 
Voltaire was a Christian philosopher. We may believe that 
he ought to have been a Christian philosopher, that it would 



have been better if he had been a Christian philosopher, 
but when we consider the matter historically we are merely 
concerned to find out whether such was actually the case. 
And if we investigate Christianity as an historical phe¬ 
nomenon, whether in its earlier or later manifestations, we 
find that as a matter of fact it is not a life in the sense 
meant. The first Christian missionaries as little as later 
ones, looked upon Christianity as merely a way of life. 
They were not primarily exhorters but heralds of a message 
—a message that had to do first of all not with the wonderful 
“life" of Jesus or themselves but with the significance of 
something that had happened, particularly the death and re¬ 
surrection of Jesus. We may think it regrettable that Chris¬ 
tianity has ascribed the primacy to doctrines, that from the 
very beginning it has looked upon itself not merely as a 
life but as a life based on a message about its founder, and 
so has always placed this message in the forefront; but we 
should not permit our dissatisfaction with this course to 
lead us to misrepresent the real nature of this religion. We 
may believe that the time has come to substitute another 
religion for Christianity; but history affords us no warrant 
for saying that Christianity is a life in the modern mean¬ 
ing of the expression. Whether it is psychologically sound 
to say that life precedes doctrines, or the contrary, it may 
not be questioned that according to Christianity doctrines do 
logically precede life. We do not allege, of course, that the 
religion Jesus founded consists only of doctrines—who does 
not know that such a representation is a baseless caricature ? 
What we allege is that Christians doctrines are indispens¬ 
able to the production and maintenance of the Christian 
life, that the life is the expression of the doctrine, that while 
Christianity is both a life and a doctrine yet logically the 
life follows the doctrine and can no more rise above it than 
a stream above its source. If by the assertion that Chris¬ 
tianity is life not doctrine it were merely meant that doctrines 
are not an end in themselves, or that doctrines have no 
power to produce life apart from the creative operations of 



the Holy Spirit, we would readily concur. What is meant 
by the assertion as currently made, however, is that the 
Christian life is first not only in importance but logically 
and psychologically and as such more or less independent 
of Christian, doctrines. In this sense the assertion lacks his¬ 
torical support—unless we look upon modern religious lib¬ 
eralism as a manifestation of genuine Christianity. 

We, therefore, see no reason why we should turn aside 
from our purpose of making use of our definition of Chris¬ 
tianity to ascertain whether certain of the things called 
Christianity today are really Christianity, because, forsooth, 
it involves the application of a doctrinal test. Since Chris¬ 
tianity is a historical religion a non-doctrinal Christianity 
is an absurdity. No sound objection can be made against 
a doctrinal test. It is inevitable that a religion that bases 
itself on facts that have occurred will be a doctrinal religion, 
seeing that these facts are meaningless unless interpreted. 
Everything calling itself Christianity should be willing to 
submit to the particular test we have proposed. Does it con¬ 
fess not only the historicity but the supernaturalness of 
Jesus? Does it confess Jesus as a present object of worship 
and as such indispensable to its very being? Does it find in 
this divine Jesus a supernatural redemption, grounded in 
the fact that “Christ died for our sins according to the 
Scriptures”? A satisfactory answer to these questions will 
not prove that it is 100 per cent Christian—additional tests 
will be needed to ascertain the purity and adequacy of its 
Christianity—but an unsatisfactory answer to all, or even 
any, of them makes clear that it falls short of being genuine 

Those who recognize the validity of our test, but who 
have been assuming that all or nearly all of the things called 
Christianity are what they are labeled, will certainly be 
amazed—no matter how charitably disposed they may be— 
if without fear or favor they apply it to the things spoken 
of as Christianity in these days. 

They will not be long in discovering that some of the 



so-called Christianity of today does not even posit the his¬ 
toricity of any Jesus, that more of it does not posit the 
historicity of a supernatural Jesus, that still more of it 
does not posit Jesus as a present object of worship and as 
such the source of its present vitality. It is not enough, as 
we have said, to trace the origin of Christianity to Jesus un¬ 
less we also see in Him a person who not only lived and 
worked in the past but who lives and works in the present, 
to such an extent that Christianity is as dependent on Him 
today as when He tabernacled in the flesh. It makes no 
great difference, therefore, whether we say with Arthur 
Drews and W. B. Smith that Jesus never existed; or whether 
we say with Harnack and Bousset and Eucken and their 
multitudinous followers that Jesus existed as a subject but 
not as an object of religion; or whether we say with the 
rationalists and mystics as a class that religion cannot be 
dependent on historical facts, and so on Jesus as an his¬ 
torical fact as little as any other historical fact; in either 
case we are proclaiming a Christianity that, if need be, can 
get along without Jesus. But surely a Christianity that even 
entertains the thought that Jesus Christ is not indispensable 
is just no Christianity at all. Those who define Christianity 
as morality of a Christlike sort, or as loyalty, or as altru¬ 
ism, or as spirituality, or as the “religion of Jesus” meaning 
the religion that Jesus practiced, may honor Jesus as the 
founder of Christianity, as the one who set it going, as 
still the classic teacher and exemplar of these things, as 
one from whose memory they draw inspiration, but it is 
evident that Jesus occupies no absolutely essential place in 
their Christianity, for such a Christianity could continue to 
exist and flourish if He should be forgotten or even if his¬ 
torical research could prove that He never existed. Those 
who so define Christianity may say with Eucken, “We may 
revere him as a leader, a hero, a martyr,” but it is inevitable 
that they will also add as does Eucken, “but we cannot forth¬ 
with bind and pledge ourselves to him and yield him un¬ 
conditional submission; still less can we make him the center 


of a cult, for that would now be nothing else than an in¬ 
tolerable idolatry .” 19 It is clear that such Christianity is 
only indirectly dependent on Jesus Christ, that it does not 
ascribe both its origin and continuance to Him, that it as¬ 
signs to Him a place in Christianity essentially the same as 
Martin Luther occupies in Lutheranism and John Wesley 
in Methodism. Surely all such Christianity is Christianity 
falsely so-called. 

They will discover no less quickly that much of the so- 
called Christianity of today has definitely broken with the 
idea of the Cross as an expiatory sacrifice for sin. No idea 
is less acceptable to the “modern mind.” As we put the 
question to this and that professed Christian teacher, we 
can scarcely escape the impression that the majority of our 
would-be Christian guides, whether academic or popular, 
have not only broken with it but assumed an attitude of open 
hostility to it. No language seems too strong with which 
to pillory it. It is said to be immoral, contradictory to every 
sense of justice, blasphemous even to suggest that there 
was need of an expiation of sin through the death of Jesus 
Christ before God could or would forgive sin. God is love, 
we are constantly told, and as such freely forgives on con¬ 
dition of repentance alone. Everywhere we are being told that 
the parable of the Prodigal Son contains the very core of the 
Gospel, even the whole Gospel, and this finds its explanation 
most of all in the fact that it makes no mention of an atone¬ 
ment—though one might have supposed that some at least 
of those who find the whole Gospel in the parable of the 
Prodigal Son would have stayed to notice that it also makes 
no mention of Christ or the Holy Spirit. Certainly if we 
judge only from current religious literature, and from the 
utterances of those religious teachers who seem to have 
been most successful in gaining the attention of the public, 
it would not be strange if we concluded that the idea of the 
Cross as an expiatory sacrifice for sin is obsolescent if not 
obsolete. Fortunately such a judgment is not warranted; 

19 Can We Still be Christiansf, p. 34. 



the doctrine still has able defenders in academic circles, is 
still the common possession of the great majority of those 
who call themselves Christians. If it were warranted we 
should be forced to the conclusion that genuine Christianity 
has practically vanished from the earth, because, whatever 
we may think of the truth or value of the doctrine, it is 
altogether certain that it is a fundamental element—we may 
even say the most fundamental element—in Christianity as 
Christianity has been all but universally understood by its 
professors, until recently at least. The object of the Chris¬ 
tian’s faith is and ever has been Jesus as crucified. A Chris¬ 
tianity that knows nothing of Jesus as crucified for sin has 
no more right to call itself Christianity than has a Chris¬ 
tianity that knows nothing of a divine Jesus. To speak of a 
Christianity without Christ is no more a contradiction in 
terms than to speak of a Christianity without an atoning 
Christ. The testimony not only of the founders of Chris¬ 
tianity but of that vast multitude who throughout the Chris¬ 
tian centuries have witnessed the good confession can be 
cited in support of Warfield when he wrote : 20 

Unquestionably, Christianity is a redemptive religion, having 
as its fundamental presupposition the fact of sin, felt both as 
guilt and as pollution, and offering as its central good, from 
which all other goods proceed, salvation from sin through the 
historical expiation wrought by the God-man Jesus Christ. 
The essence of Christianity has always been to its adherents 
the sinner’s experience of reconciliation with God through the 
propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ. According to the Synoptic 
tradition Jesus himself represented himself as having come to 
seek and save that which is lost, and described his salvation as 
a ransoming of many by the gift of his life, embodying the con¬ 
ception, moreover, in the ritual which he commanded his disci¬ 
ples to perform in remembrance of him. Certainly his first fol¬ 
lowers with single-hearted unanimity proclaimed the great fact 
of redemption in the blood of Christ as the heart of their gospel: 
to them Jesus is the propitiation for sin, a sacrificial lamb without 
blemish, and all their message is summed up in the simple formu¬ 
la of Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Nor has the church he 
founded ever drifted away from this fundamental point of view, 
as witness the central place of the mass in the worship of its 
elder branches, and the formative place of justification by faith 



in Protestant life. No doubt parties have from time to time 
arisen who have wished to construe Christianity otherwise. But 
they have always occupied a place on the periphery of the Chris¬ 
tian movement, and have never constituted its main stream. 

We can well understand that one swirling aside in an eddy 
and yet wishing to think of himself as travelling with the cur¬ 
rent—or even perhaps as breaking for it a new and better chan¬ 
nel—should attempt to define Christianity so widely or so vague¬ 
ly as to make it embrace him also. The attempt has never been 
and can never be succesful. He is a Christian, in the sense of 
the founders of the Christian religion, and in the sense of its 
whole historical manifestation as a world-phenomenon, who, 
conscious of his sin, and smitten by a sense of the wrath of God 
impending over him, turns in faith to Jesus Christ as the pro¬ 
pitiation for his sins, through whose blood and righteousness he 
may be made acceptable to God and be received into the number 
of those admitted to communion with him. If we demand the 
right to call ourselves Christians because it is by the teaching 
of Jesus that we have learned to know God as he really is, or 
because it is by his example that we have been led into a life of 
faithful trust in God, or because it is by the inspiration of his 
“inner life,” dimly discerned through the obscuring legends that 
have grown up about him, that we are quickened to a like re¬ 
ligious hope and aspiration,—we are entering claims that have 
never been recognized and can never be recognized as valid by 
the main current of Christianity. Christianity as a world-move¬ 
ment is the body of those who have been redeemed from their 
sins by the blood of Jesus Christ, dying for them on the cross. 
The cross is its symbol; and at its heart sounds the great jubila¬ 
tion of the Apocalypse: “Unto Him that loveth us and loosed us 
from our sins by his blood; and he made us to be a kingdom, 
to be priest unto his God and Father; to Him be the glory and 
the dominion forever and ever. Amen .” 20 

Whether, therefore, it be Sabatier or Hamack or Bousset 
or Troeltsch or Eucken or Oliver Lodge or Conan Doyle 
or Ralph Waldo Trine or Mary Baker Eddy or D. C. Mac¬ 
intosh or G. B. Smith or G. B. Foster or George Cross or 
Henry C. Vedder or Harry Emerson Fosdick or Lyman 
Abbott or Walter Rauschenbusch or Charles A. Ellwood— 
whoever they may be who scorn or make light of or ignore 
the cross of Christ as an expiatory sacrifice for sin, we say 
to them all alike that the fullest recognition of the truth 

20 “Christless Christianity,” The Harvard Theological Review, Oct. 
1912, p. 462. 



and value of much that they commend will not permit us to 
look upon them as teachers of Genuine Christianity. Practi¬ 
cally none of those we have mentioned by name see in Jesus 
a present object of worship—in fact faith in the real deity 
of Jesus is rarely if ever found in those who deny the ex¬ 
piatory nature of His death—but even if they did, that of 
itself would not entitle them to call themselves Christian 
teachers, because, as we have sought to show, a Christianity 
that knows nothing of Christ's death as an atoning sacrifice 
is just no Christianity at all. 

It seems superfluous to add that they will also discover 
that much of what is called Christianity rejects supernatural¬ 
ism, denies even that there have been creative acts of God in 
human history. This is a matter that is shouted from the 
house-tops. We must be deaf as a post and blind as a bat— 
in the world but not of it in a sense not commended in the 
Scriptures—if we are not aware that not only in the writings 
of the learned but in the pages of popular books, magazines 
and newspapers, not to mention many pulpits and class¬ 
rooms, we are told and re-told that the supernaturalism of 
Christianity is the one great obstacle that keeps the modern 
man from accepting it. We must preach a non-supernatural 
Christianity, they tell us, if we are to win the modern 
world. If such is the case things are certainly in a bad 
way as regards genuine Christianity. For, as we have seen, 
it is through and through a supernatural religion so that 
as regards it the choice is not between a supernatural and a 
non-supernatural Christianity but between a supernatural 
Christianity and no Christianity at all. Even if it be ad¬ 
mitted that genuine though truncated Christianity may exist 
where there is no adequate recognition of the supernatural, 
it cannot be allowed that there is anything that can honestly 
be called Christianity where all recognition of the super¬ 
natural is lacking. Men may preach a desupernaturalized 
“Christianity” and still preach much that is attractive and 
worthy of attention, but it is impossible to justify their right 
to call it Christianity. Only those who are interested in names 



rather than realities will obtain any comfort from the re¬ 
tention of the word “Christianity” if the thing it has stood 
for through all the Christian centuries is cast away as rubbish. 
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but calling 
a thing a rose does not cause it to exhale a rose’s fragrance. 

Our main task in this article has been to indicate what 
Christianity is, so that we might show that many of the 
things called Christianity are falsely so called. We have not 
raised the question of the truth of Christianity, except to 
guard against the mistake of supposing that it should be 
taken into consideration when we are seeking to discover 
what Christianity is. This is due, of course, to the limited 
task we have assigned ourselves, not to any indifference to 
the query itself. When once we have discovered what Chris¬ 
tianity is, its truthfulness becomes, whether we will or no, 
the matter of supreme importance. We would have only an 
historical interest in the question, What is Christianity? if 
we regarded it as untrue. Further the question, What is the 
value of Christianity? would seem idle and fictitious. It is 
impossible to believe with those of a too practical or a 
too intellectualistic or a too mystical tendency that the value 
of Christianity is independent of its truth in the sense of 
conformity to fact. It argues a radical misunderstanding of 
the nature of Christianity to maintain that its facts have 
value only as they express some idea or principle or sym¬ 
bolize some religious experience. According to Christianity 
we are saved not by works or knowledge or religious ex¬ 
perience—though not without them—but by a person, and 
that person Jesus Christ. We can be indifferent to its truth¬ 
fulness in the sense of conformity to fact only as we are 
indifferent to the question whether the salvation He offers 
from sin as guilt and pollution is a real salvation. For a 
religion that objectively saves from sin “value-judgments” 
which are not based on “fact-judgments” lack all saving 
significance. A religion that grounds itself in the conviction 
that God has wrought wonders in history for the salvation 
of His people must maintain that we “make lies our refuge 


and hide ourselves under falsehood” if we suppose that it 
is all the same whether its facts occurred or not. 

It is not our present purpose to defend the truth of Chris¬ 
tianity; the space at our disposal does not permit. We want to 
say, however, that no discussion of the question, Is Christian¬ 
ity true? will be fruitful of results unless the parties to 
the discussion are agreed as to what Christianity is. Nothing 
is doing more to make matters “confused and confusing,” 
in the realm of religious discussion, than the loose and 
contradictory senses in which the word Christianity is em¬ 
ployed. Men equally intelligent and sincere, it may be, come 
to no agreement because the suppressed premise of the one 
contradicts the suppressed premise of the other. The sup¬ 
pressed premise is a different, often a radically different, con¬ 
ception of what Christianity is. To a superficial observer 
it might seem as though Christianity were approaching a 
complete victor}’ in the forum of the world’s thought. Nearly 
everyone of much importance calls himself a Christian. We 
need only consider the divergent answers given to the ques¬ 
tion, What is Christianity? however to perceive how de¬ 
ceptive appearances are at this point. It is no comfort to 
us to have a man tell us he believes in Christianity if what 
he calls Christianity lacks all the distinctive marks of what 
we regard as Christianity. When he affirms that Christianity 
is true, meaning a Christianity in which Christ occupies no 
indispensable place, or in which His atoning death has no 
place at all, he says in substance that Christianity as we un¬ 
derstand it is false. It is the truth of a particular religion, 
not of everything labeled Christianity, that concerns us when 
we discuss the question, Is Christianity true ? And if anyone 
retorts that he has as good a right to define Christianity in his 
way as we have in our way, we flatly deny the claim, unless 
he can show that his definition has as good historical sanc¬ 
tion as our own. This he cannot do. 

Is Christianity, as we have defined it. true in the sense indi¬ 
cated? It has been so contended by the Church of the ages. 
In that conviction it was established, in that conviction it has 



spread, and only as that conviction is maintained can we 
hope that it will escape decay and go on from strength to 
strength. We must at least have a religion we believe to be 
true. If we are to believe in Christianity we will do so be¬ 
cause such faith is rational, not though it be irrational. We 
are not fearful, however, lest advancing knowledge will dis¬ 
prove the claim of Christianity, as we have defined Christian¬ 
ity, to be true. Those who are fearful, or hopeful, of this re¬ 
sult cannot be aware, it seems to us, of the weight of the evi¬ 
dence by which the claim is supported. More especially they 
overlook or ignore the fact that Christianity has a definite 
content of its own that rests on its own basis and is buttressed 
by its own independent evidence. Consequently they are 
unduly disturbed, or encouraged, by the teachings of modern 
philosophy and modern science. That abstraction “the mod¬ 
ern mind” becomes a bugaboo that frightens them or a mi¬ 
rage that engenders false hopes. Because Christianity is not 
in harmony with the teachings of many modern philosophers 
and scientists, they fear or hope that it is no longer tenable. 
Their fears or hopes, however, would largely disappear if 
they would distinguish between the voice of Philosophy and 
Science and the voices of the philosophers and scientists; and 
if they would keep clearly before them the fact that the voice 
of Philosophy and Science is heard only through the voices 
of the philosophers and scientists, and that the voices of the 
philosophers and scientists speak only quarter-truths or half- 
truths. What W. R. Matthews says of modern philosophy is 
applicable also to modern science. “The actual state of the 
philosophical world,” he writes, “is one of unexampled con¬ 
fusion. Idealism, Pluralism, Logical Atomism, New Realism, 
Vitalism, all these in widely variant versions claim our ac¬ 
ceptance. There is no modern philosophy, there are only mod¬ 
ern philosophers .” 21 In the better day when philosophers and 
scientists speak whole-truths, but only then, may their voices 
be identified with the voice of Philosophy and Science. 

For the present there is no warrant for saying that Chris- 

21 Studies in Christian Philosophy, pp. 74-76. 


tianity is untenable because it is more or less out of harmony 
with the teaching of much modern philosophy and science. 
These things have not yet reached their final form, so that 
nothing is more certain than that if Christianity were in 
harmony with the philosophy and science of today it would 
be out of harmony with the philosophy and science of to¬ 
morrow. There is a big difference between saying that 
Christianity is out of harmony with the dominant philosophy 
or science of the day, and saying that there is a conflict be¬ 
tween Christianity and Philosophy or Christianity and Sci¬ 
ence. We may admit the first while altogether denying the 
second. Hence in proportion as we realize that Christianity 
has a definite content of its own, obtained independently of 
philosophy and science and independently evidenced as true, 
we may possess our souls in patience, amid the discordant 
voices of modern thought, in the firm assurance that when 
the unity of truth has been vindicated it will appear to all that 
both the fact-content and the truth-content of Christianity 
are integral arcs in the circle of truth. Facts are stubborn 
things and if we have adequate evidence—as we believe we 
have—for the conviction that history presents us not only 
with an actual but with a supernatural Christ, and in this 
Christ a supernatural redemption, we must either deny the 
unity of truth or we must affirm that every theory in which 
these great facts do not find a natural and logical place is in¬ 
adequate if not false. There is something manifestly wrong 
with any theory that is compelled to treat solid facts as 
though they were wax or putty. 

There is no greater evil in the Church of today than the 
evil of divided conviction and divided testimony. Though 
the primary task of the Church is to be a witness—“Ye shall 
be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Sa¬ 
maria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth"—the testi¬ 
mony being given throughout the Church is discordant and 
contradictory. Everywhere throughout the churches, and 
especially throughout the Protestant churches, what one man 
proclaims as saving truth another man denounces as fatal 



error. Hence the distraction and confusion. The main line 
of cleavage throughout Christendom no longer follows de¬ 
nominational lines, does not even follow the line between 
Catholics and Protestants. It follows the line between those 
who are Christians and those who merely call themselves 
Christians, between the heralds of a genuine and the heralds 
of a counterfeit Christianity. Those to whom Jesus is not 
a present object of worship, and who have no consciousness 
of themselves as sinners redeemed by His blood, are of a total¬ 
ly different religion from those to whom He is an object of 
faith and whose hope for time and eternity is grounded in 
the conviction that He bore their sins in His own body on 
the tree. It is the latter, and they alone, who constitute the 
true Church of Christ; in them, humanly speaking the fu¬ 
ture of Christianity lies; and only as they by divine grace 
are faithful stewards of the saving Gospel will Christ see 
of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. If matters be 
allowed to go from bad to worse, if the former be allowed to 
obtain control of the churches as organizations and make 
them subservient to their purposes, there would be nothing 
left for the latter to do except to form new organizations in 
which to enjoy the fellowship of like-minded persons and 
through which to function as propagandists of genuine Chris¬ 
tianity. We do not anticipate that such a situation will ar¬ 
rive. Certainly it will not arrive unless the Lord’s people 
are derelict to duty. Numerous as are “the false brethren” 
in the churches of today, and influential as are the seats they 
occupy, the great majority of church members, we believe, are 
Christians in fact as well as in name. 

It is high time for those who love the Lord in all sincerity 
and heartiness to awake to the fact that within the churches 
themselves, even within the ministry of the evangelical 
churches, there are considerable numbers who not only 
reject the Gospel but are busily engaged—and with no small 
measure of success—in propagating essentially pagan concep¬ 
tions of life and destiny. By using orthodox language to ex¬ 
press unorthodox conceptions, by representing essential dif- 



ferences as only minor differences of interpretation, by cry¬ 
ing “Peace, peace; when there is no peace,” they have long 
kept most Christians in ignorance of the fact that the founda¬ 
tions are being undermined by those of their own household. 
Partly because of the efforts of those who have realized the 
situation, partly because many of these “false brethren” have 
grown so bold that they no longer feel the need of speaking 
cautiously about the Bible as the Word of God and the Cross 
as an atoning sacrifice, there are increasing indications that 
the true Church of Christ is becoming aroused to the peril 
that threatens. Many even of its leaders, however, are still so 
little suspicious of danger that they esteem those who sound 
an alarm as little better than mischief-makers. The task of 
the Church, in its conflict with encroaching modernism or re¬ 
newed paganism, would be difficult enough if those who name 
the name of Christ were unitedly gathered about the Cross, 
singing praises to their King, and witnessing in word and 
deed to the essential truths of Christianity. As a matter of 
fact, however, there are many not only in the ranks but 
among the leaders who can look on Calvary and see only a 
good man crowned with thorns and with a spear wound in his 
side, who refuse to bow the knee in the presence of Jesus 
Christ, and who as mouth-pieces of the Church are commend¬ 
ing pagan thoughts and pagan ideals. “If the trumpet give an 
uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?” There 
is no more pressing need, therefore, than the creation of a 
situation—whether by the conversion or the voluntary with¬ 
drawal or the exclusion of these “false witnesses”—wherein 
the Church of Christ, as far as possible, will bear undivided 
testimony to the Gospel of the grace of God. All things 
should be done in love. Love itself, however, should be sub¬ 
servient to the purity of the faith and will never sanction any 
paltering with truth. Surely it is worse to offend God 
than it is to offend our neighbor. No Christian will deny that 
when it is impossible to please both we ought to seek to please 
Christ rather than men. Moreover, we should not forget in 
this connection that the Church is a voluntary organization; 



no one is required to belong to it; more especially no one is 
compelled, willingly or unwillingly, to minister in its sanctu¬ 
ary or to teach and defend its message. Hence no specious plea 
for tolerance should be permitted to persuade us to give even 
a tacit consent to anything, in worship or teaching, dishonor¬ 
ing to our Lord in the Church He purchased with His own 

St. Davids, Pa. S. G. Craig. 


It is one of the many curiosities of mystical literature, 
and one of the problems of mystic psychology too, that for 
many there is in mysticism both an intellectual repulsion and 
an emotional attraction. Robert Vaughan’s Hours with the 
Mystics is an unconscious commentary upon this. A book 
more at odds with itself, and a man less satisfied with his 
intellectual conclusions, it would be hard to find; for from 
the first chapter to the last this curious study in mysticism 
exhibits a man deeply in love with mystical thought,— 
fascinated by it rather, as a twittering sparrow before the 
jaws of some mighty serpent,—yet screaming aloud 
at the object of his adoration. Repulsion stirs him even to 
intellectual violence, yet fascination holds him spellbound 
before the Vision Splendid. Heart and head surely were 
never less in agreement than here. Perhaps, in quieter fash¬ 
ion, the same fact holds true of other students of mystical 
thought. It might, therefore, not be altogether futile, to 
attempt a study of this thesis of repulsion and antithesis of 
attraction, and reverently to ask whether in the heart’s re¬ 
sponse to mysticism and the head’s denial, there may not be 
a clue to lead one aright,—a glimpse, let us say, of a 
Mystic Goal, and a warning of dangerous paths that lead 
not thither. 

Think, if you please, of some Dismal Swamp, cypress- 
hung and aflame with unwholesome bloom, yet not without 
its green glades and island hillocks rich in flower and fruit¬ 
age; a swamp seemingly endless yet with some unanalyz- 
able promise of a Goal beyond, and traversed by a labyrinth 
of paths. Our question is, whether among these innumerable 
ways, there may not be one way that truly goes, straitened 
perhaps and narrowly, to the realized Vision. 

According to Vaughan 1 mysticism has no genealogy, no 
growth in tradition. “It is a ready-made commodity, to 
which certain temperaments are liable in any age, nation, or 

1 Hours, Vol. I, Book II, ch. 2. 



religion.” What Vaughan here says, though with animosity, 
and without realizing what he has said, seems to me to be 
this: that mysticism is not a product of human speculation. 
There is development in all thinking; there is growth in all 
tradition ; there is no changeless speculation ; a “ready-made 
commodity” to which “certain temperaments are liable,” 
smacks of the instinctive; so that in this curiously repellent 
comment, Vaughan grants the very thing he is so intellec¬ 
tually anxious to discredit. If he has unconsciously voiced 
a truth here, then mysticism, (not as any speculative system, 
nor in its intellectual content, but as an emotional bent,— 
or, let us say mysticism in essence and not in manifestation) 
is of an instinctive quality, liable as all instincts are to sup¬ 
pression or evolution, and in evolution liable to normal 
or abnormal, diseased or wholesome development. 

Evelyn Underhill has, one would say, nothing in common 
with Robert Vaughan further than our common mortality. 
At least their judgments upon individuals and doctrines 
never coincide. It is the more curious to find that when Miss 
Underhill sets out, as a protagonist of mysticism, to define 
it, she reaches approximately the conclusion of Vaughan the 
antagonist . 2 She tells us, that is, of mysticism as an “organic 
process,” “the expression of the innate tendency of the 
human spirit towards complete harmony with the trans¬ 
cendental order . . . whatever be the theological formula 
under which that order is understood.” That her elaborate 
series of definitions finally exclude whatever cannot be 
squared with her own theological and psychological beliefs, 
and include those beliefs, is of minor importance. Attention 
is drawn merely to her recognition of mysticism as an “or¬ 
ganic process,” an “innate tendency,” or as perhaps she 
might be willing to say, and possibly does elsewhere say, 
“a religious instinct.” 

This instinctive quality lies either implicitly or explicitly 
in most definitions of mysticism. Behind all analyses, 
whether of mystical “saying” or “doing,” is found a recog- 

2 Mysticism : Preface. 



nition of one dynamic instinct—the desire of the finite 
towards the Infinite, of the relative towards the Absolute, 
of the soul towards God. This desire, when it finds 
its expression emotionally rather than intellectually (yet 
not necessarily setting up a false antithesis between the 
two), is essential mysticism. The will may be, and in practi¬ 
cal mysticism must be, exercised; the intellect should be, and 
in developed mysticism is, called upon at least to analyze; 
but the emotional element of man remains in charge of the 
mystic instinct, wheresoever it quests. We live, move, have 
being in God. Essential mysticism is but the instinctive 
recognition of that divine environment . 3 

Objective nature is steeped in deity, created, upheld, 
providentially guided to its divine purposes, moving with 
infinite majesty towards the goal of God’s completed will. 
The same glorious truth applies to humanity as a whole, 
and to every individual. The Immortal gives to all mortality 
his upholding Spirit. There is no barrier to the full knowl¬ 
edge of this immanence of the Creator in the whole of 
his creation—except the unsurmountable barrier of sin (un- 
surmountable by man, not by God). It is just here that 
natural religion takes on the character of an instinct; how¬ 
ever impotently, the immortal spirit of man appeals in a 
dumb craving that is almost a physical need; and that 
appeal is in itself the productive instinct from which 
religion, i.e., natural religion—man, God-seeking, but by no 
means God, man-seeking—finds its origin. And while 
this instinctive religious urge finally develops into every 
intellectual and volitional type of worship, nevertheless its 
basis remains emotional. Wherever that emotional basis 
retains its ascendency you have some form of mysticism, 
using the word now not merely as descriptive of essence 
but of manifestation. 

Here is a clue towards an understanding of that intellec- 

3 Dr. B. B. Warfield, in reviewing Fresenius’, Mystik (this Re¬ 
view, Apr. 1914) says: “at bottom mysticism is just natural religion”; 
cf. Bib. Rev. (Apr. 1917): “Mysticism and Christianity”: “God is a 
part of man’s environment.” 



tual repulsion which mysticism itself develops against itself, 
especially in such evangelical minds as that of Robert 
Vaughan. The repulsion, however, is by no means limited 
to evangelical thinkers. It, too, smacks of the instinctive, 
for it is a further knowledge possessed by the soul— 
a spiritual awareness, breaking through to consciousness, 
—of the spirit’s impotence. Steeped in God, man is yet with¬ 
out him. Man can merely crave. This fact means that an 
immense gulf is opened between the religion where God is 
found to be actively and objectively and verifiably seeking, 
and the religions where men alone (whatever intellectual 
interpretations they give to the subjective urge) seek help¬ 
lessly for God. The Christian, that is, knows nothing of a 
natural or supernatural guidance of the Spirit, apart from 
objective revelation. The Within is no rule of faith or guide 
to life. There is no subjectivizing of religion, nor making 
God to be merely an inward experience. Authority, for the 
Christian, inheres in an objective, supernatural revelation, 
a revelation designed to save men who cannot save them¬ 
selves. But natural religion, on the other hand, knows noth¬ 
ing of this supernatural grace of God, indissolubly bound 
up with the historical Jesus and an inspired Bible. It knows 
merely that universal power whereby the Creator provi¬ 
dentially and yet personally upholds and rules every atom 
of his handiwork. 

There is much to be said about this providential care of 
God: more perhaps than those who have the clearer light 
generally acknowledge. In broad day we have small praise 
for the tallow dip. Man, as the trite phrase truly enough 
goes, is a religious animal; he will have a religion, though 
it be but the vaguest of superstitions or the most intellectual 
of sciences; and the religion that he has, in its inception, 
is going to be a true religion, though not a saving one; for 
the heart and soul of it will be an instinctive recognition of 
the Divine. There is a challenge about nature to the rudest 
savage. The “flower in the crannied wall,” the flaming 
heavens, the majestic procession of the seasons, the cosmic 


forces that obey no human laws and yet do veritably obey 
even in their seeming lawlessness laws that no human mind 
may grasp—here is enough for a religion. Men, bringing 
their intellects to bear upon what to begin with is an 
emotional reaction to the glory of the universe, interpret 
this glory in terms of stick, stone or totem, nymph and faun, 
godling and Olympian Zeus, and so slowly beyond them 
to Chronos, to the Unconditioned, to the Divine Dark and 
Great Anonymous. Always the intellectual conclusions are 
going to be at fault, for “who by searching can find out 
God?” but always the spiritual premise is true, because it 
is rooted and grounded in this primary fact, that every crea¬ 
tion is a revelation of the Creator, in whom “all things hold 
together.” But natural religion is something more even than 
this: not merely an emotional and intellectual response to 
the appeal of nature, but a spiritual response as well. 

There is, to one who feels deeply the beauty and mystery 
and infinite grandeur of physical things, a sense of com¬ 
munion through them with Something not physical, the hint 
at least of a Presence behind the kaleidoscopic veil. Dream 
of that, apply your natural speculations to that, develop for 
yourself this passing Glimpse, and you will sense at least 
this much: that there is a barrier, but something beyond it, 
a way for your soul to travel, but with a wall ahead, an 
immediate contact with God to be achieved, yet unachiev¬ 
able. It is when you decide to scale the barrier and achieve 
this unachievable by your own inward efforts that you be¬ 
come what is commonly called a mystic. It is then, too, in 
all probability, that you become an emotional pantheist, 
saying with P. B. Blood , 4 and with many other and better 
known mystics for the matter of that, something like this: 
“Into this pervading genius we pass, forgetting and for¬ 
gotten, and thenceforth each is all, in God. . . . ‘The One 
remains, the many change and pass’; and each and every 
one of us is the One that remains.” 

William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 389. 



God, the River, floweth, and with him we flow, 

God within us showeth, where we mingling go, 

But what God’s heart knoweth, we may never know. 

This appeal of pantheism to those who have or who can 
understand and believe no other than natural religion, is one 
that is almost irresistible. The majesty of nature, its domi¬ 
nation of the human mind, the awe that overcomes one 
whether in contemplation of pebble or cosmos, fire-fly or 
far and flaming star—to the sin-darkened mind what 
adequate explanation of it all, what soul-satisfying solution 
of the problem of existence, save the dervish’s ecstatic repe¬ 
tition of “God! God! God!” 

It is not without significance that Professor James 5 found 
his collection of mystical moods to be largely a collection 
too of moods superinduced by nature—occurrences of 
the great out-of-doors. A host of illustrations come to mind: 
Charles Kingsley, the thoughtful protestant clergyman, walk¬ 
ing in the quiet English fields, and lifted to an ecstatic 
recognition of deity there. Francis, “the troubadour of God,’’ 
in his enchanted world of Assisi. Amiel, the timid agnostic, 
with his “prodigious reveries’’ under the shadows of the 
Alps . 6 Walt Whitman, anarchic and bellowing, loafing in 
nature in no quiet mood, and inviting his soul with loud 
adjurations to worship the Divine Within and Without. 
Blake bemused over his pebble. Maeterlinck, that new 
Balaam, open mouthed before the horses of Elberfeld, self- 
applausive in the seance chamber, but truly enraptured before 
bee-hives and “old-fashioned flowers.” “Mab”-mad Shelley, 
and many another poet, not with the Psalmist’s vision, but 
only of mortal eye, looking up to the stars and noting some¬ 
what of the Open Country of Heaven there and the God of 
the Far Reaches! Christian and agnostic, theist and pan¬ 
theist, alike may step over this threshold of God’s visible 
creation. But that entrance way, as Omar the Tent Maker 
knew well, is like an enchanted door in Faerie, wherein enter- 

5 William James’ Varieties of Religions Experience, p. 394. 

6 Journal Apr. 28, 1852, Jan. 7, 1866, etc. 



ing, one finds oneself in the same room out of which one 
has but stepped. 

Myself when young did eagerly frequent 

Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument 
About it and about; but evermore 

Came out by the same door wherein I went . 7 

So much for a natural recognition that God is; it is 
the inner altar that all men build to the Unknown God, with 
always a sinful tendency to worship themselves there. Out 
of this instinctive and unescapable feeling of “a Presence 
that disturbs with the joy of elevated thoughts,” man has 
built his systems of explanatory philosophies and subjective 
theologies, his wholly human and speculative religions, his 
guesses “about it and about.” From this veiled but true 
glimpse of the Ineffable in all things, the long generations 
have built up that school of pantheistic thought and patho¬ 
logical practice, a school as old as history, which we usually 
think of as mysticism. It contains a belief that God is, and 
is in his creation; that harmony between the finite and In¬ 
finite may be secured by physical means, by exertions either 
of one’s own body and will, or of God dwelling within and 
yearning upwards towards freedom from the flesh. It em¬ 
braces either the belief in or the recognition of an abnormal 
human faculty or sixth and unfleshly sense, productive of 
what are hallucinations or else the strangest of unphysical 
phenomena. It finds special divine revelations, powers, and 
beatitudes in purely psychical states. It strives to meet God 
by transcending phenomenal being. It denies all outward 
objective authority in religious matters, making of sub¬ 
jective experiences the one norm and rule of faith. It tran¬ 
scends the intellect and the will, appealing directly and ex¬ 
clusively to the emotional life as to something higher and 
more fundamental. In short, it is man’s natural, instinctive 
religion, recognizing the immanency of God, but unguided 
and uninspired by outward authority, unsupplemented by 

7 Fitzgerald’s Omar, Rub. xxvii. 



outward revelation, interpreted only through natural powers, 
and seeking to hold direct intercourse with the Absolute. 
It is a clearly developed philosophical doctrine and a clearly 
expressed mode of life or practice. The only revealed religion 
that it acknowledges is that which it experiences. 

Without arguing the question as to the existence of 
variant types of mysticism, true, false, or inblent of falsi¬ 
ties and verities; without debate as to the mystical character 
of Christianity itself; thinking for the moment only of this 
one historical school, traceable in doctrine and practice by 
the clearest line of descent from the 20th century A. D. 
almost to the 20th century B. C., one might define mys¬ 
ticism by saying that it is a blind instinct for the God of 
nature, which believes that it can attain deity even in this life 
through no other than its own divine yearnings towards 
the Oversoul; God, apart from God, struggling upwards to 
unity with God. In its developed forms it almost invariably 
teaches an essential union of part with Whole, a mingling 
of brook and ocean, of the body’s breath with the whole 
atmosphere of earth; or, to speak without metaphor, a union 
of man’s spirit with God’s Spirit, made possible by their 
essential identity, and in which personality disappears and 
man becomes God, and God man. 

“Animism,” some one has said, “is the pantheism of 
savages,” of primitive man. A study of animistic mysticism 
would, I fancy, show us every phenomenal characteristic 
of the more advanced schools, overlaid by crude and savage 
superstitions, no doubt, yet still mystical to the core. When 
in the sacred books of India we watch primitive animism 
slowly and painfully developing into the wonderfully per¬ 
fect systems of pantheism and pan-nihilism of completed 
Brahmanism and Brahmanic Buddhism, we see at the same 
time perhaps the most perfect examples of empirical mys¬ 
ticism, mysticism in action, developing with the developing 
philosophy of India into a supreme effort to overcome the 
phenomenal world. The essentials of doctrinal mysticism 
are all here in primitive Indian thought and practice, cruder 



perhaps, bolder in their frank expressions, yet sternly logical 
in carrying out the idea of negation to its nihilistic end. 
In its two fundamental principles of God as all and all as 
God, and evil as mere nothingness or negative good, Indian 
thought permeates the greater part of all later mysticism 
to such an extent that one is sometimes tempted to say 
that mysticism is just Brahmanism carried over into other 
lands, and infused into other systems of religious specula¬ 
tion. The thoughts, the doctrines, and the very language of 
the bulk of western mysticism remain Brahmanic even to 
this day. The same is true not only of philosophic but of 
empirical mysticism. The austerities, self-mortifications, 
passive but terrible inward struggles of the yogi to cast off 
the illusion of life, to free himself from all phenomenal 
being, to achieve Nirvana—this is the same life that is 
developed in all the later machinery of the Negative Way. 
Suso’s chains and nails, scourges, repulsive tortures, his 
whole life of purgation, would find a fitting environment in 
some dark and secret forest of early India, where, with the 
wild fanatic visionaries and “holy men" of eld, he would 
have been a brother indeed, achieving the quiet of absorption 
into Brahm. 

Further westward, less speculative animism with its 
accompanying mystical life, flowered in those systems of 
nature worship and sacramental abominations of sexualism 
of which we have happily but veiled glimpses in the Scrip¬ 
tures. The nature mysticism of the Semitic races, if we had 
but sufficient materials for study and comparison, would 
probably give us a clue to much of the orgiastic ritual center¬ 
ing about the worship of the Mother Goddess and her dying 
and rising son and lover. Though in Old Testament days 
perhaps the mysteries of Tammuz and Ishtar, “Adonis" 
and the Mother. Attys and “Cybele," Osiris and Isis, did 
not rise above a gross sexual paganism, yet there must 
have been a deep strain of nature mysticism in all the wor¬ 
ship of high place and temple: for it seems certain that 
we shall have to conceive of these early anti-Jehovistic re- 



ligions as a second element in the growth of western mys¬ 
ticism, only less important than Brahmanism for its in¬ 
fluence on later doctrines and life. The closest possible con¬ 
nection exists between Semitic nature cults 8 and the earlier 
Orphic and Dionysiac mysteries of Greece. Aphrodite and 
Adonis, Kore and Persephone, Dionysos himself and 
Orpheus, are western versions of the immemorial Asian 
dream; cruder nature worship transmuted by poetic ritual, 
sublimated, pantheized, made the vehicle for mystical doc¬ 
trine and practice. Yet just as early Ba’al worship was anti- 
Jehovistic, so, we may be certain, its classical progeny in 
their day were as surely anti-Christian. 

Out from these two main sources, then, we may trace 
the westward flow of pantheistic mysticism, the one type 
losing nature in God, the other losing God in nature, but 
both alike teaching in one form or another the possibility 
of breaking through the barrier of physical life, and becom¬ 
ing one with the Absolute. 

Neither the pedigree nor character of Gnosticism may be 
studied here; yet that “metaphysics of wonderland” has its 
place in the development of western mystical thought, for, 
though Neoplatonism was to a large extent a product of 
passionate opposition to the fancies and fables of the 
Gnostics, nevertheless the latter left their mark upon 
Plotinus and his followers. W. K. Fleming 9 tells us that 
Gnosticism was, in its “wild guesswork” “quite alien from 
the mystical instinct after a basic unity.” The crude dual¬ 
ism of the Gnostic repulses him, rightly enough; yet he 
fails to see that the Gnostic’s effort, too, was to transcend 
dualism and so reach the Absolute. The Gnostic theory of em¬ 
anations, surely, is the Positive Way of later mysticism— 
the Absolute reaching downwards through ever more attenu¬ 
ated outpourings of Itself, to come at last into a Point, 

8 Phrygian, Egyptian and Semitic Cults are classified together, in 
the belief that J. G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough furnishes sufficient 
evidence of their common ancestry. 

9 Mysticism in Christianity, Ch. 3. 



that immanent spark of the soul, which in turn, going up¬ 
wards, forms the Negative Way of “Pseudo-Dionysius,” 
aspiring back through negations of the world to the Abyss 
whence it came. 

It is possible to think of Plotinus as at once the apex and 
foundation of pantheistic mysticism. In him are gathered 
all the results of long ages of earlier speculation and mys¬ 
tical experimentation; and out from him proceed the pan¬ 
theistic doctrines and the purgative and psychic machinery 
of all succeeding ages. Back of the philosophy—or shall 
we not rather say the religion?—of Plotinus lies the old 
Brahmanic metaphysic, so that if one were to try to ex¬ 
press Plotinus and Neoplatonism in a word, I fancy it would 
be possible to say that negation sums up the whole matter. 
Dean Inge is of the opinion that all the fundamental tenets 
of Plotinus are purely Greek in origin ; 10 yet he cannot ignore 
the deep influence of the mysteries on Neoplatonic thought, 
even though he does ignore their eastern pedigree. The fact 
of the matter is that “purely Greek thought” is an unreal 
abstraction; the eastern world fathered Greek mystical think¬ 
ing; so that the Dean’s “Greek” influence amounts to little 
more than hellenized versions of Brahm and Ba’al. 

All pantheism must negate the individual, sweep away 
distinctions of being, in order to achieve a doctrine of Pan 
at all. Plotinus’ Abstract Godhead, then, has no character, 
no individuality, and must not only be above thought, but 
must include within itself a negation of thought, and of the 
phenomenal world and individual being as well. The nega¬ 
tion of sin and evil (so clear and uncompromising in 
Plotinus that it cannot be explained away), follows as a 
matter of course from these negations, and is not under¬ 
standable without them. We are, therefore, not suprised 
when Plotinus tells us in effect that evil is disintegration, 
and perhaps not even of sufficient reality to be truly a down¬ 
ward force; for evil is not merely unreal, but “unreality as 

10 Christian Mysticism, Lecture III; and cp. his notable volumes The 
Philosophy of Plotinus. 



such.” What more logical than that this metaphysic of 
negations should issue in a religion of negations? The nega¬ 
tive Way of Plotinus’ followers, the Way of purgation, 
illumination and union, this is the fruit of the tree. The 
flesh must be negated by purgations, the senses must be 
negated by vision and divine illumination, the very intellect 
and personality must be negated by trance, ecstasy, and the 
loss of all conscious existence, in order that the metaphysic 
of negation may issue in the negative life. 

The metaphysics of Neoplatonism became the metaphys¬ 
ics of “Pseudo-Dionysius” without any change in the funda¬ 
mental doctrines. Entering Christianity from an anti- 
Christian source, the whole Dionysian movement remains 
anti-Christian to the end. The stream flows, as through a 
series of lakelets, through Plotinus, through “Hierotheus,” 
through “Dionysius,” to the West. The self tortures of 
faquir and yogi, the eight-fold path of Buddhism, the nega¬ 
tions of Plotinus, and the self-crucifixion of “Hierotheus,” 
all aim at utter absorption of personality even in this life. 
This is the Dionysian scheme, the Negative Way of heretic 
and saint, where by stripping off all human passions, all 
fleshly and sensible ideas, virtues, qualities, abstract thoughts 
about God, all personality except bare continuance of being, 
the mystic arrives into ecstatic supernatural contact with 
the Divine Dark, and becomes one with the Unconditioned. 
The text of all of “Dionysius” might well be, as Dr. Philip 
Schaff 11 says, “Romans, XI, 36, ‘from God and through 
God and unto God are all things.’ ” There is, however, no 
Christian interpretation of that text in the double procession 
of Godhead as “Dionysius” views it—downwards from 
the Dark that transcends all being, downwards through ever 
lessening emanations of Itself, to a divine Point in man; 
and thence expanding, upwards again to the trnscendent 
“Nothing it set out from.” 

All this is just one of earth’s innumerable examples of 

11 History of the Christian Church, vol. 4, p. 597. 



the helplessness of the natural man, the inability of man to 
find God for himself, even though God’s common grace in 
some sort reveals him both Within and Without, and the 
almost transparent mystery of his creation rouses the long¬ 
ing soul to search. It is a moving commentary on the “sin¬ 
fulness of sin.” 

If mysticism is man’s natural, instinctive religion, it fol¬ 
lows that, though having an affinity with all positive reli¬ 
gions, mysticism in action will be as it were more at home, 
more at ease, more capable of freedom and what, to it, 
may be thought of as a normal development, in those reli¬ 
gions whose basic element is of an emotional nature. Its 
close affinity to pantheizing modes of thought is thus at 
least partly explained. Where it manifests itself in Chris¬ 
tianity, too, we will a priori expect to find it more clearly 
developed in the emotional element of our religion. Where 
it exhibits its presence in non-Christian faiths, the same 
phenomenon will be anticipated. Nor will our anticipations 
fail of verification. It is, e. g. in the emotional element of 
Islam, among the dervishes and their spiritual kindred, that 
mystic belief and practice come most clearly to light, while 
very remarkable examples of group mysticism are found 
in the revivals that shook Roman Christendom in the Middle 
Ages, and Anglo-Saxon Christendom during the days of 
Wesley and Whitefield. This, of course, is not meant as a 
depreciation of those two men, nor as a slur upon the true 
Christian faith of the majority who participated in those 
great emotional upheavals. It is merely saying that where the 
emotional element even of the one revealed religion is given 
full and uncontrolled play (as it often was in those days) 
there one would expect to find the natural mystical element 
of religion in a developed form; and there, indeed, empirical 
mysticism as a matter of fact, becomes at times even the 
dominant factor. The deep spirituality of the leaders of our 
revival movement kept its mystical element within bounds. 
The truly Christian emphasis upon the Bible as the one rule 
of faith and practice, prevented any such distressing out- 



break as that which was witnessed in mediaeval days. Never¬ 
theless, critics of revivalism will have no difficulty in finding 
both the philosophical doctrines and the psychical phenom¬ 
ena of pantheizing mysticism, even in such a truly evan¬ 
gelical movement as that which closed the Eighteenth Cen¬ 
tury. The same fact will explain why mysticism has always 
found such a congenial atmosphere in the cloister, where 
the magnificent pageantry of the Roman ritual, the long and 
solitary hours of brooding devotion, the persistent inward 
struggle against the lusts of the world, the flesh, and the 
devil, together with a depreciation of (and often indeed 
an ignorance of and indifference to) the revealed Word, 
combine to place so much emphasis upon the emotional, and 
to push back and even destroy any truly evangelical faith, 
where intellect and will would have equal place and power 
with the feelings. The man of emotional temperament, or 
perhaps abnormal psychic condition, or of exaggerated sen¬ 
sibilities, will have a religion where his emotion, his psychic 
experiences (illusory or true) are given the opportunity of 
free play, and where their exaggerations and even their 
pathological phenomena, may be incorporated into his scheme 
of religious life. 

Intellectuality becomes a pretty highly developed power 
before complete dependence upon emotional states fails as 
the controlling factor in natural religion. It is in consequence 
of this dependence upon the inward and the emotional that 
mysticism naturally gravitates towards pantheism. There is 
a downward or backward pull to every instinct; their capac¬ 
ity for sublimation depends upon an environment which 
will remake the instinct itself; and that environment does 
not exist in nature; man must create it for himself. But 
that is exactly what man cannot do in this one case of the 
religious instinct; it presupposes something above man, and 
uninfluenced by man. The religious instinct can be remade 
only by him who implanted it, of whom it speaks, and for 
whom it yearns. It follows that man’s mystical search for 
God will never be without at least a pantheizing tendency; 


for that is undoubtedly the natural and downward bent. 
However intellectual some of our modern systems of pan¬ 
theistic thought may be (and one could hardly find anything 
more compact of thought than the Hegelian dialectic) never¬ 
theless they are, so to speak, emotions intellectualized. 
Nature, by itself, can reveal no more to me than I, a part 
of nature, am. I find myself a mirror of nature, and nature 
a mirror of me. Either nature becomes God, or God becomes 
nature; and in either alternative I share in that deification. 
This religious instinct of mine, this natural religion, this 
“desire of the moth for the star,” can do no more. 

Doubtless mysticism will clothe itself in any theological 
garment that may be conveniently at hand. For all that, its 
inner character remains the same; the clothes vary, the body 
persists. Natural man is not vitally concerned about finding 
a religion; he receives whatever outward authority may 
offer him as an interpretation of the inner urge. But if that 
outward authority does not smother out the instinct itself 
(as it well may) the soul’s craving for God will reinterpret 
the symbols of religion, fill them with a new content, read 
into them its interpretation of nature. The various doctrines, 
for instance, which are usually considered essential to mys¬ 
ticism, appear not only in developed systems of mystical 
thought, but spontaneously as well among groups widely 
separated in space and time. Traditions doubtless are trans¬ 
mitted ; speculation grows. Where there is no traceable con¬ 
nection, however, similar doctrines spontaneously appear. 
Mystics, on the whole, think alike. This very fact, primary 
argument as it is among mystical writers for the validity 
of their findings, is at least an indication that the natural 
religious instinct can never transcend itself: it must find a 
natural satisfaction for its craving, and deify nature, or 
naturalize God. Thus, whether we trace the so-called schools 
of Christian mysticism back, as has been outlined in this 
paper, through a clearly defined and well connected train of 
traditions to the earliest mystical speculations, or whether 
we grant—as perhaps sometimes we must—the spon- 



taneous appearance of identical doctrines in the rhap¬ 
sodies of lonely and untaught hermits, we yet find them to 
be generated in nature and unable to transcend it 

We may reasonably suppose this to be the full cause of 
the repulsion which well-developed mysticism creates against 
itself. Doubts and fears take hold upon the mystics. Their 
very Way must have its Dark Night, its Period of Despair, 
its loss of faith, its morass where no light is and all paths 
vanish. A knowledge breaks through to consciousness at 
times, that natural man is not as happily situated as he 
sinfully dreams; that God, near as he is, is not achievable. 
Your mystic seeker will put that knowledge by as a tempta¬ 
tion of the devil. Really, it is still the religious instinct speak¬ 
ing—the urge for God—saying in no uncertain voice, that 
though man may seek him, man may not find him; that 
though man must have him, man cannot. 

Basic mysticism we have attempted to define as in es¬ 
sence man’s religious instinct; his initial and emotional 
response to a God-environment. That is neither Christianity 
nor an approximation to it, but it is human nature, and there¬ 
fore of the natural or neuter ground upon which Chris¬ 
tianity too is built. Though the Christian (as already said) 
knows nothing of either a natural or supernatural guidance 
of the Spirit, apart from objective revelation, though he 
has learnt that the Within cannot be in this world his rule 
of faith or guide to life, yet for all that his response to the 
God-environment is and must be at least as complete as any 
mystical surrender to the Oversoul. Every bit of objective 
revelation has revealed to him what otherwise he could never 
have comprehended, that God seeks man: the whole content 
of an objective supernatural religion is open to him, its 
historicity verifiable, its unique saving quality to be ex¬ 
perimentally known. Through this implanted religious in¬ 
stinct, this inner urge of the soul, this mystic realization of 
the fact of God, he receives the power of faith, and through 
that supernaturally given power, objective revelation is re¬ 
ceived as a further and a saving fact: God has sought and 



found him. But objective revelation itself gives the clear¬ 
est of knowledge concerning a subjective revelation. God 
Without is not the whole story; God Within is needed to 
give faith in the Without, to apply to the individual the 
outward and redemptive act, to create a clean heart, renew 
a right spirit, interpret the written Word, and so regenerate 
and sanctify that the redeemed human spirit shall be led 
into all truth. God has provided an objective and super¬ 
natural means whereby men may be saved: and he himself, 
a personal and Holy Spirit in the inward man, applies that 
means of salvation both to the regeneration and sanctifica¬ 
tion of those who receive him. The Christian, therefore, has 
as a divine fact what natural mysticism can at the best 
merely long for; he has God—not as a part of the 
soul, a divine Spark, an uncreated ground of the human 
spirit, but God working in him savingly, that he may both 
will and work God’s good pleasure. 

This is Christianity, and there is something here very 
like to the doctrines which we commonly call mystical, so 
like, that mystical writers usually include a chapter or two 
in their books to link up Paul's doctrine and John’s and the 
teachings of Jesus, with Plotinus and his followers; so like, 
indeed, that Christ's men may, and have, and yet frequently 
do, confuse the two. It is just because of this surface 
resemblance that mystical doctrines and practice attract and 
even fascinate the reverent soul. 

That Christianity does not negate natural religion of 
any sort, emotional, rational or intellectual, is so obviously 
true that it needs no emphasis of statement. The God of 
nature is the God of grace, and even as the revelation of 
God in the Scriptures does not supersede, supplant or in any 
way make void the revelation of God in nature, so too the 
revelation of God to and in the natural man is not done 
away with, much less contradicted, by the supernatural and 
authoritative religion of grace and salvation in and through 
Jesus Christ. But natural religion is thus savingly sup¬ 



Yet neither the phenomena nor the doctrines that are the 
fruitage of natural religion belong to the religion of grace. 
In the phenomena of mystical practice 12 no law of nature is 
set aside, no supernatural power is intruded in such a way 
as to overcome natural law; “second causes” rule, whether 
for good or evil. Where phenomena are not hallucinations, 
they are nevertheless capable of wholly natural and scientific 
explanation, which we may safely leave to the scientist. On 
the other hand, the phenomena of the Bible (to keep the same 
word for purposes of parallelism) are not only different 
in degree but in kind. For there walked upon the earth a 
Man who was not a Master Mystic, but who was Immanuel, 
the manifestations of whose power over nature, man, and 
the spiritual worlds, were the revelation of his own authority 
over the creation of his hands. John, Paul, Peter, and who¬ 
ever else possessed miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and exer¬ 
cised them in healings, visions, prophecies and tongues, 
possessed and used gifts that were wholly supernatural. 
These men and women were the instruments of Christ’s 
Spirit, and not at all natural mystics exercising natural 
powers. Either this is true, or Christianity has no more real 
authority than any historical mystical movement, and we are 
yet in our sins. 

The matter of doctrine is on a somewhat different plane, 
not so easy of separation, yet quite as sharp a cleavage in 
reality exists as in the matter of phenomena. Broadly, we 
might characterize the two Ways by saying that the Chris¬ 
tian’s is affirmative, the mystic’s negative, one the Via Neg- 
ativa, one the Via Crucis. There is, so to speak, the same 
geographic distance between the shore of Lake Galilee and 
the jungles of India, as there is between the knowledge of 
the indwelling Christ, and the theory of an inward and 
brooding divine essence, struggling towards self-realization. 
The uncreated Spark of the soul, and the true inner guid¬ 
ance, help, power, and light of the Holy Spirit in the lives 

12 Cp. article, The Psychic Phenomena of Mysticism, P. T. R. Vol. 
XX, No. 3, July 1922. 

6 o 


of Christians—these too are just exactly as far apart as 
pantheism and Christianity. 

What natural mysticism can never find equivalents for or 
any parallels to, are the precedents of subjective Christianity 
—God’s justification, Christ’s redemption—in short the 
whole objective content of our faith. All that is worth while 
in natural mysticism, then, does not need statement in 
mystical terms. We find in pure Christianity whatever so- 
called “Christian mysticism” holds that is of abiding- worth 
to man. And we find in pure Christianity what we will never 
find even in the closest natural approach to the evangelical 
faith—the objective and absolute authority of the Scrip¬ 
tures and their triune God. 

Now let us go back to our starting point. We have 
attempted to trace, if only in outline, this emotional religion 
through all its natural courses. Everywhere it has seemed 
to be no more than a dynamic instinct functioning through, 
and influenced for good or evil by, the more positive relig¬ 
ions with which it associates itself. We have seen it as a 
wholly natural movement, without a single supernatural 
element in it, though often associated with supernatural 
Christianity. At the same time we have seen it as a religion 
without authority, standing on the shifting sands of emo¬ 
tional feeling, anarchic, dependent wholly upon the inner 
state of a man’s soul for guidance, and upon individual, 
unaided conquest of the flesh for the winning of salvation, 
deification or absorption . . . whatever the goal may be. 
Its whole history may be thought of as an object lesson in 
natural religion, showing to men just how impotent they 
are to save themselves, and how their highest and best efforts 
to scale the heavens end in negations and darkness. We will 
do well to heed our instinctive distrust and repulsion of this 
Mystic Way. 

We may, however, think of mysticism in a finer, truer 
and spiritual sense, inclusive of natural religion, but in¬ 
clusive also of all the aspects of Christianity which make of 
the sacrifice of Christ and the revelation of the Bible, facts 



of redemption and sanctification for the individual. One 
would then be a mystic as John, Peter, Paul were, not in 
their official capacity but in their private lives . . . very near 
to Christ, rich in God-given faith, spiritually minded, look¬ 
ing beyond the things of this world to the surer and truer 
things of eternity, filled with the Spirit of God. To this 
spiritual mysticism the facts of objective revelation would be 
the facts of supreme importance, and the inspired record of 
God’s whole supernatural process of salvation would be the 
one guide and the only authority for the life that Christ Jesus 
died to save. But all this would not be mere dogma, mere 
intellectual belief, mere orthodoxy; it would be the one 
great and overmastering reality; for beside it, confirming it, 
would be a knowledge quite as real, quite as vital, not merely 
vouched for by the Scriptures but spiritually known to be 
true—the knowledge that the Christ of the Four Gospels 
indwells in the lives of his followers through his Holy 
Spirit; that he is present, and saving, and sanctifying those 
whom he has saved. Further still, there would be the knowl¬ 
edge that this world, for all of its goods, is no more than 
a place of pilgrimage, and that all lesser and earthly goods 
may well be negated for the sake of the one supreme good, 
God. We will do well to heed our instinctive attraction 
towards and affirmation of this Mystic Way, wheresoever 
we glimpse the truth of it in any mystic’s doctrine or life. 

Delaware City, Del. Robert Claiborne Pitzer. 


The capitalistic system of industry has both an economic 
and a moral justification. That justification rests on the 
primary truth that Capitalism fulfils a beneficent and many- 
featured function, in the saving and storing, the guardian¬ 
ship and employment of capital, along with the personal 
oversight of labour, the conduct of industry, and the ad¬ 
vancement of commerce. Through this service a personal 
liberty, a potent moral incentive, the exercise of respon¬ 
sibility, are all attained, and, thereby, there is secured the 
social well-being, and the moral and intellectual progress of 
the community, and even of the race. 

But this justification has been described, to its prejudice, 
as the plea of an advocate holding a brief. It has been said 
that the case against Capitalism has been lightly touched, if 
ignored. We shall, therefore, set Capitalism at the bar and 
examine the charge made against it. 

The charge is, in general terms, that while Capitalism 
secures abundant production, that is attained by the economic 
impoverishment and industrial bondage of the labourer. 
Production, it is declared, is carried on under unjust and 
repressive methods, and the distribution of the product vio¬ 
lates both equality and equity. As a consequence, employ¬ 
ment is often exhausting and degrading, and always irregu¬ 
lar and insecure, while Capital sits high in ease of mind, 
with an abundance which it wastes in selfish indulgence, in 
shameful contrast with meanly-housed and barely-fed labour. 
The charge consummates in the statement of the last and 
bitterest wrong—that the labourer is a wage slave deprived 
of his due status of manhood. 

Three comments on this indictment are in order. The 
first is that the charge and the statement of the conse¬ 
quences are overdrawn. No man who is intimate with the 
relationships of labour and capital, or who lives among the 
manual workers, will accept this highly coloured picture as 
true to-day, whatever may have been the case a generation 


ago. The amount of the weekly wage coming into the homes 
of the manual workers, the shop windows of every market 
town, the enjoyment of the pleasures and even delicacies 
of life by the masses of the people, make some of the state¬ 
ments in the charge ridiculous. The surest proof of that 
is that the modern socialistic demand is based, not on the 
poverty, or the distressed condition of the labourer, but on 
the claim to a fuller and freer and more secure life than he 
now has. It is the claim for a larger share and “a better 
time” such as he sees some others enjoy. 

The second comment is that this mean condition, so ex¬ 
ploited by the opponents of Capitalism, is largely due to 
causes which are ignored and have nothing to do with Cap¬ 
italism. They are recorded in the annals of the police courts, 
and make up the items of the evening newspaper. Sloth, 
waste, intemperance, disloyalty to chastity and to other en¬ 
nobling self-disciplines, are evident causes of destitution and 
misery. Every river-side and factory district will display, in 
the same common entry, homes of cleanliness, comfort and 
taste, and homes of squalor, destitution and misery. These 
miserable homes are not due to the environment. They make 
the environment. When the authorities of a great city have 
cleared out a slum, and razed its buildings to the ground, 
the people who dwelt in it have removed to another district, 
and soon made it as much a slum, as that in which they 
dwelt before. Men mistake the effect for the cause in the 
case of environment, and they forget that many of the best 
lives are lived under these conditions, in the same way as 
the best life the world has known, was lived in Nazareth. 

The third comment is that in this charge no account is 
taken of the real antagonism to Capitalism. That is the dis¬ 
parity between the social condition of the different classes. 
Underneath all these bitter charges can be heard the cry for 
equality of social condition. The three catch-words of the 
French Revolution “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” are no 
longer on men’s mouths. The whole strength of the demand 
focusses on equality. Out of that there comes every other 


demand, and from it there rises, like a mist from a marsh, 
the envy which brings forth greed and hate and suspicion. 
This question of equality is complex and fuller of difficulty 
than some realise. But briefly here it may be said that there 
never has been, never can be, never should be, a complete 
equality of possessions. Men are not equal, either at their 
birth or after it. They do not remain equal, and a man's 
debasement or exaltation are, in most instances, due to his 
own endeavour. Under any social order there must always 
be some who are set in authority over others. In so far as 
that authority and reward are unjust—whether they are 
equal or unequal,—amendment is an immediate duty. At the 
same time, if we follow the highest example we shall not be 
much concerned about the inequality of our possessions. 
“A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things he 
possesseth.” But, mark here only this one thing, that the 
charge against Capitalism, set out in these terms of reproach, 
is really based on a reaction against social disparity. The 
other items of the charge are set down to give it heat and 

But let us examine the charge with more detail, and look 
at the arguments by which it is supported. 

The first is that capital is motived by profit, not by use, 
and is therefore, necessarily oppressive to labour. It is de¬ 
clared that a collective industrial system would be under no 
temptation, and could not find opportunity, to wrong the 
labourer of his justly larger share. But this statement rests 
on the fallacy that profit and use are opposed to each other. 
The truth is that the capitalist’s first and immediate motive 
is production for use. He need not attempt to produce a 
commodity for which there is no demand. If he produces a 
superabundance his profit is gone, for he has exceeded the 
quantity required by the users. If he produces an article 
that does not satisfy the demand, he finds himself left with 
his production on his hands. There are iron laws of pro¬ 
duction, and the producer must supply the actual wants of 
the community, and must adapt his goods to the purchasing 



power, and even to the taste, of the consumer. His first aim 
must be use, and only as he meets use is there profit at all. 

The further truth is that profit and use are complementary. 
If one manufacturer produces a better wire for fencing 
than another he is assured of his profit, while the others, 
who have aimed at a higher profit, only make a loss. If one 
firm of tool-makers will reduce the cost of their implements 
they secure a larger sale, with a larger gross profit than the 
others, who have not kept use in view. Beyond these ele¬ 
mentary facts there is the truth that Capitalism, with its 
constant aim at a large turnover, always supplies the cus¬ 
tomer more cheaply, more accommodatingly, more promptly 
than any public board, or State-controlled factory. Capital¬ 
ism must aim at use, and at the largest possible area of 
use, or it suffers impoverishing loss. Every newspaper com¬ 
pany is aware that in proportion as it can meet the needs 
and the desires of the users of newspapers, it will increase 
the number of buyers. It can, therefore, be content with a 
mere decimal of profit, because of the large number of copies 
of the journal which are sold. In every industry under Cap¬ 
italism, use, the enlistment of the goodwill and support of 
the customer, is the first aim. So that Capital works first for 
use, with profit only as a consequent. 

The second item in the charge is that capital is theft. This 
charge is old as Proudhon, who set it in his famous phrase— 
“Property is robbery.” It was silenced for many years by the 
still unanswered reasoning of Bastiat in his Harmonies of 
Political Economy. Yet it has reappeared in the contention 
of the collectivists of to-day. It is heard in the Marxian 
doctrine of “surplus value,” and it is the accusation, uttered, 
with a note of passion, by most of the opponents of Capital¬ 

But capital gained as a reward for service, whether it 
be of hand, or of brain, or of possessions, is not theft. It is 
a just reward of hours of toil, or a return for skill, resource, 
and inventive genius, or the honourable increment due to 
the man who has put his possessions at the disposal of an- 



other, for that other's advantage. When capital has been 
gained dishonourably, whether by an employer who does not 
give a fair value in what he supplies, or by a workman who 
slacks and skirks, there is theft indeed. But capital, honestly 
gained, whether by personal service, or the loan of posses¬ 
sions, is not theft. It follows, therefore, that rent for the use 
of a house which a man has built, or bought, is both just and 
honourable,—if the rent be adequate. It further follows that 
interest for the loan of tools or machineries—into which 
form the loan of money is really condensed,—is equally 
honourable. It may be true, and doubtless is true in some 
regards, that the ownership and possession of land is in a 
peculiar position. A strong reason can be urged for the 
proposition that those who work the land should own it, 
for land is, in its largest use, simply a tool. But in nothing is 
it more emphatic that land should be held in private owner¬ 
ship, for nothing has been proved more wasteful than State, 
or community land-holding. The story of every Commune is 
a glaring picture of the economic and moral wastefulness of 
Collectivism in land. So that so far from capital being theft, 
it is a wise and honourable reward—when honestly gained, 
—and its economic wisdom is written so large, that the 
most heedless glance can discern it. 

The third item in the charge is that Capitalism compels 
a competition which is economically wasteful and morally 
depressing to the labourer. Here it is urged that competi¬ 
tion tends to overdrive the labourer, and to regard him as 
only a part of the machinery. It passes on to affirm that 
the numbers engaged in management and distribution are 
needlessly large, and that they absorb an undue share of the 
product, to the detriment of the manual labourer. It is com¬ 
pleted by the allegation that capitalistic competition issues 
in over-production, due to the hustled pace of the com¬ 
petitors, so that a periodic cycle of dull trade sets in, when 
labour suffers the misery and shame of destitution, with the 
inevitable result of moral deterioration. 

The evidence led in support of this charge is usually taken 


from a limited area—almost entirely from public services, 
not from production. The most notable instances in this 
charge of waste through competition are taken from trans¬ 
port. Two railways carry goods to the same area; a single 
line is sufficient. The trucks of one company deliver goods 
to the stations of another; they return empty. Several ship¬ 
ping firms possess fleets of vessels, maintain office estab¬ 
lishments, and waste money in advertisements; a single 
agency could conduct the service. Three milk deliveries sup¬ 
ply one street; only one is required. Similar instances are 
cited from other departments of service. 

In so far as there really is waste no defence can be made, 
or ought to be made, under any system. But an excess in 
the number of employees and an over-supply of goods are 
not to be found among the articles of faith, or among the 
methods, approved by Capitalism. Waste either in produc¬ 
tion or management or transport, spells loss, and often 
bankruptcy, to the capitalist. Indeed so utterly opposed to 
such waste is Capitalism that the formation of the large 
Combines—against which some objections can be laid,— 
has been carried out to prevent such waste. The result has 
usually been that while the profits have increased, because 
of the savings in management, the cost to the consumer has 
been lessened. The charge is valid really against Collectiv¬ 
ism, whenever the watchful superintendence of the capital¬ 
ist is withdrawn. It needs no argument, but only the simple 
recollection of those who know the history of industry, to 
be assured that, neither production, nor distribution, nor 
transport, are carried on so cheaply, so efficiently, so regu¬ 
larly, so courteously, under Collectivism as under Capital¬ 
ism. The keen oversight of the capitalist, his interest in 
cheap production, his eager desire to secure the custom of 
the public, may tempt him to hard dealing with employees, 
but they certainly engage his whole mind in economic and 
courteous production and supply. Private management is 
always more resourceful, more adventurous, more eager to 



expedite delivery, more instant in the service of the con¬ 
sumer than any national service can ever be. 

But this charge, so obviously unsupported by any proof 
of economic waste, falls back on the other feature of moral 
wastefulness. Competition between capitalists, it is urged, 
surely tends to oppress the labourer. It depresses his wages 
because of what Lasalle called “The iron law of subsis¬ 
tence.” He affirmed a law by which wages tended to fall 
to a level which would keep the labourer alive, and no more. 
That rhetorical line has now been scored out of the indict¬ 
ment. But it is still contended that competition will always 
deny the labourer the free and full life which is his due, 
and will grind him between the upper mill-stone of the 
employer’s greed, and the nether mill-stone of the consumer’s 
apathy. The final charge is that competition may not waste 
wealth, but it wastes men. 

What is the truth about competition? There may be a 
competition which is open to a just moral condemnation. 
For that reason the statute books of all Christian nations are 
filled with enactments to regulate competition. The various 
organisations of labour and industry have been organised 
to check any self-willed actions, and the share in the over¬ 
sight of conditions of labour, now exercised by workmen, 
is a powerful check on any act of oppression. But in every 
passion and energy there is a high and a low plane of action. 
Competition is as inevitable as the pulse in the blood. The 
desire for preeminence is a native passion of the heart. It 
cannot be eliminated from any social or industrial, or moral 
order. It has a function to fulfil, and the true and wise end 
is to purify and exalt the exercise of competition, and so 
secure its blessing, and not turn it into a curse. 

One clear-sighted collectivist has discerned and faced this 
truth with candor. Mr. G. R. Stirling Taylor writes in this 
decisive way. “There were many brave people amongst us 
who tried to prove and believe that competition was al¬ 
together evil, and that we could do without it. As a theory 
for latter-day saints there was a great deal of truth in our 


brave arguments. As a practice for present-day sinners, we 
were trying to bury our heads in the sand. The gentle prick 
of competition develops an energy in man.” 1 This is a wise 
and convincing correction of much wild and heady argu¬ 
ment. Mr. Stirling Taylor sees that many of the diatribes 
against competition draw lurid pictures that are false to the 
facts, and that to-day competition has only “a gentle prick.” 
He realises that competition is not only inevitable, but 
necessary. He does not see, apparently, the whole round of 
its blessing. It develops energy, as he asserts, but it also im¬ 
parts interest to life, zest to labour, and enriches the mind 
and quickens the spirit. Even were the world to become the 
home of “latter-day saints” they would require, and would 
rejoice in, the whole round of competition, but they would 
transmute it into a noble emulation. They would not dis¬ 
card the pliant garment of competition for the strait jacket 
of a limited endeavour. 

The pregnant blessing of competition appears in every 
sphere of human activity. In the games of life it imparts 
a zest and produces a skill not otherwise attainable. In all 
the higher achievements of human endeavour—in the strenu¬ 
ous competition in art and music, in learning and in lit¬ 
erature, its influence is renewing and strengthening. Com¬ 
petition has a dynamic that the world cannot do without. It 
promotes patience, endurance, courage, self-discipline, and 
a noble passion to nobly excel. In the sphere of industry 
it is as indispensable, and as salutary. The finer adaptation 
of machines to their purpose, the zeal for the discovery of 
new worlds and for the opening of new markets, the passion 
to excel in the perfection and the finish of all the tools of 
life, even the rivalry between two firms, or two workers, 
promote the moral well-being, and add to the joy of life. 
Whatever will quicken interest, develop energy, and add to 
the moral moment of toil deserves encouragement. All the 
petty and selfish rules which fence a man about in his daily 
work, and command him that his hammer shall drive only 
1 The Guild State, p. 93. 



so many nails an hour, or lay so many bricks in a day, de¬ 
grade a living, thinking, self-resolved human being into a 
machine. They rob him of his power of initiative. They dull 
his mind, and tame his spirit. They check the progress and 
evolution of the race. There is an upward calling which the 
human spirit hears, and to which it can respond only in 
freedom. That response may cost strain and toil, but the 
development of the personality is attained in no other way. 
Browning bids men ‘‘strive, and never mind the throe.” 
He describes the degradation of those who try to escape 
from the arena of struggle and contest, and he pictures them 
as cattle, 

Tame, in earth’s paddock, as her prize. 

The Hebrew poet anticipated Browning when he likened 
such men to ‘‘the beasts that perish.” Competition is a moral 

The fourth item in the charge is that Capitalism imposes 
“serfdom” on labour. Here we are at the focus of the appeal 
in this moral argument. Here, as a consequence, the terms 
of the indictment ring with protest. We all know the decla¬ 
ration against the mean dependence, the supplicant bearing, 
the servile mind, the lost manhood which the labourer mani¬ 
fests through his subjection to the capitalist. Rousseau’s 
familiar sentence “Man was born free, and yet is every¬ 
where in chains” is the oft-quoted text of the opponents of 
Capitalism. It was a heated and rhetorical saying in Rous¬ 
seau’s dark days, and it is repeated in our own as though 
it were a steadfast truth. As a consequence there is the de¬ 
mand for the complete independence of the employee from 
any conditions, except that of subjection to the State, and 
the escape thereby from what is called “serfdom” due to 
the fact and the power of an employer. 

The first question to ask in regard to this allegation is 
this—is it accurate? Is labour, under Capitalism, in serf¬ 
dom? Are employers of labour tyrants? Have they power to 
deal with their employees as their selfish greed dictates? 
Dare they treat their workmen in a way which injures their 



independence, or lessens their self-respect? Can they, of 
their own counsel, adopt and impose the methods or the hours 
of work within their own gates? No one who knows anything 
of the modern conditions of work, and the varied and com¬ 
plex regulations imposed upon management, will listen, with¬ 
out a just protest, to the rhetorical talk of “the serfdom of 
labour.” Where the phrase might be used is in regard to the 
tyranny of Trades Union where a small oligarchy, them¬ 
selves fearful of losing their position, compel men to action 
against which, in private, they make sad but ineffectual pro¬ 

The wiser opponents of Capitalism do not insist on this 
term “serfdom.” That word, borrowed from a past feudal¬ 
ism, is too ridiculous to be used by men who claim to be 
reasonable. The new term, “wagery” i.e., the receiving of a 
weekly wage from an employer is alleged to be the basis 
and the mark of the workman’s enslavement. From some 
writers one would gather that if the term “wage” could 
be disused for the term “pay,” or better still “salary,” there 
would be less degradation in receiving it. Others have sug¬ 
gested that if the wage were given at longer intervals, and 
without exact accounting of the days and hours which are 
worked, as is the case with a salary, it would become hon¬ 
ourable. They seem to be unaware that the grievances felt 
by most salaried persons are that the intervals of receipt are 
too long, that too little account is taken of hours and days, 
and that overtime has a minor place in the scale of reward. 

Why should there be any sense of degradation, any loss 
of self-respect, any conception of enslavement, in receiving 
a wage? If only a man feels sure that he has given a fair 
day’s work for a fair day’s wage, and has earned his salary 
by diligence and fidelity, why should he feel lessened in his 
personality? A trader has no feeling of dependence in taking 
money across the counter. A lawyer and a doctor take a fee 
for their services, and they are not abashed, and do not pre¬ 
tend that they are degraded. They have been paid what is 
nothing more nor less—name it as one may—than “a wage,” 



and they have obeyed a call to serve. Why should a working 
man who has produced some article by the skill of his hands 
feel any loss of respect in receiving a just reward for his 
labour? On the other hand when men who have received 
good wages, and spent them at their will, so often, improvi- 
dently eat bread provided out of public taxes, burn coal at 
less than the cost of its production, refuse to pay an economic 
increase of rent although they have been insistent that their 
wages should rise in a greatly higher percentage, they ought 
to have a sense of degradation, and ought to suffer a lost 
self-respect. Two generations ago they would have been 
called “paupers," and the pauper, under any name or form, 
loses his independence. 

When will men learn that there is no escape from obed¬ 
ience and subordination on the part of one man to another, 
under any possible social or industrial order. There must be 
those in authority, who give orders. There must be those 
with oversight, who direct the actions of those who obey. 
There must be those who have responsibility, and, therefore, 
must make choices and decisions. It is sometimes urged 
that men will willingly obey any one who has been elected by 
the workers to his position of responsibility and authority. 
It is difficult to understand why obedience to an authority so 
chosen is honourable, but obedience to a master of industry 
degrades. The experience of those who work for public of¬ 
ficials contradicts any such conception. A ruling official in a 
public department, the manager of any undertaking under a 
civic corporation, the controlling authority in any co-oper¬ 
ative union is always more autocratic and less approachable 
than the master of a large enterprise, whose interest is bound 
up with the respect and goodwill of his workmen. The 
thought that if one gives “social service,” as it is called, he 
will escape this sense of dependance, and keep his self- 
respect does not face either the facts, or the actual con¬ 
ditions of labour. Service is not only the obligation but the 
law of life. Only he who serves is noble. The questions he 
should ask are not whom he serves, but whether he serves in 



an honest cause of human need and with fidelity. “I am 
among you as one that serveth” said the noblest spirit who 
ever walked in perfect freedom on our earth. He took a 
towel and girded Himself, and performed the most abso¬ 
lutely personal service, when He stooped to wash His dis¬ 
ciples’ feet. To-day all the world kneels at His feet. 

Now all these statements seem to be justified both by the 
evidence for them and the reason which is within them. Yet 
there remain the wrongs so evident in our social order. 
These wrongs, as we have again and again suggested, have 
been and are being redressed. But the contention made here 
is that these wrongs are not evils necessarily bred by Cap¬ 
italism. They are the growths from these roots of evil, out of 
which there spring most of the wrongs of life. In all re¬ 
lationships, in every organism, in the state and the city, 
and even in the household, there are the covetous, the greedy, 
the envious, the rude, the proud, the aggressive, the venge¬ 
ful. They infest a Trades Union in the same way as they 
trouble a Chamber of Commerce, or the Senate of a Univer¬ 
sity. What, then, is the truth in the matter? What shall we 
say about these wrongs? This is the answer,—they are not 
the wrongs of Capitalism. They are the wrongs of the cap¬ 
italist. They are not the wrongs to which he is compelled, 
for there are capitalists who are not guilty of them. And 
if some capitalists, who stand out as glaring transgressors, 
were not only juster but wiser than they are, they would 
cease from evil, to their own well-being, and to that of all 
others with whom they have to do. 

Let me set down in the briefest way and in general terms 
what these wrongs are. Out of, we may say, three great 
sources of evil doing, all the streams of social injury are 
flowing. The first is that some capitalists, not only seek 
profit but exact an unjust profit. Shoddy is manufactured 
and dressed to pass for honest wear. A higher price is de¬ 
manded than yields a fair profit on the labour employed. 
Advantage is taken of a rising market to fix a higher price 
on goods, which have been bought when a lower rate pre- 



vailed. No doubt a certain allowance must be made to cover 
the risk of a fall, but there are large increases which cannot 
be justified. The profiteer of to-day stands in the pillory 
with the publican of the time of Christ. He is a capitalist 
who is a criminal. But he is guilty not only in the production, 
but in the distribution of wealth. When profits began to 
rise many employers paid no spontaneous heed to the wages 
of employees. They refused to share their larger income with 
those who were fellow-workers with them. They met every 
appeal by a refusal, or by the offer of the slightest possible 
increase, until a costly strike enforced the workman’s de¬ 
mands. Companies paid large dividends, enlarged their 
premises, and “watered” their stock, but kept their staffs 
at the lowest minimum they would accept. Had capitalists 
been wise, and been moved to justice, they would have shared 
the increase, and would not have been classed among those 
who have committed crimes both against the labourer and 
the well-being of the community. 

The second crime of the capitalist is his heedlessness of 
the social well-being of the labourer. He has not asked, and 
he has not cared to ask, about the labourer's home. He has 
not cared to enquire as to whether comfort or cleanliness 
or decency could be attained within his narrow house. He 
has not been ashamed that the sun could not shine into the 
street where his workmen’s children played. As a class cap¬ 
italists have taken little account of the life lived by their em¬ 
ployees when they left the gates of their factories. Such 
friendly interest is not easy, but more might have been done 
than has been even attempted. A sympathetic subscription 
does not discharge a capitalist’s obligation. It must not be 
forgotten that the slum dwelling and the mean home are not 
entirely due to the capitalist’s want of care. We must not 
forget the improvidence, sloth and drunkenness, which do 
more to impoverish and degrade the labourer, than any ne¬ 
glect on the part of the capitalist. In every congested dis¬ 
trict there are homes whose shining windows, clean thresh¬ 
olds and bright firesides are the index of a life of high 



purpose, and an atmosphere of purity and peace. Yet this 
does not exonorate the capitalist from that heedlessness to 
the well-being of the labourer which reaches its saddest and 
most blameworthy line in his almost apathetic neglect of the 
out-of-work labourer. There have been firms who have 
kept their labourers at work at a loss even of their capital. 
But too many have discharged their workmen without a 
moment’s thought as to where they and their children would 
get their bread. What an opportunity has been missed! It 
would have sweetened the atmosphere of society, and 
strengthened the manhood of humanity, as well as has been 
of unspeakable blessing to himself, if the capitalist had given 
some personal attention to the well-being of his unemployed. 
He would have fulfilled that counsel of Christ, enshrined in 
the parable of the vineyard, when the master gave the penny 
not only to those who had justly earned it, but to the un¬ 
employed who stood idle in the market-place, because no man 
had hired them. 

The third crime of the capitalist is his spending his pos¬ 
sessions in selfish indulgence. If wealth were modestly pos¬ 
sessed and wisely used, if it were spent in the furtherance 
of moral ends, not only would greed and envy be exorcised 
from men’s hearts, but the man of wealth would be ennobled 
in character. Few object to a man’s prosperity in the things 
of this life if that be gained through his industry, skill and 
foresight. The average honest working man who spends his 
strength in the use of his tools, is aware of the toil and 
strain, the resourcefulness and watchfulness which his em¬ 
ployer contributes. He recognises that any man with a dif¬ 
ficult and hazardous occupation is entitled to a higher re¬ 
ward than the man who has “a soft job” or one which 
merely strains his muscles. But if wealth, however gained, 
is squandered in selfish indulgence, condemnation is swift 
and keen and often just. 

The contrast rouses to passion. The questions asked are— 
Why should one man lie soft, and suck the sweets of life 
and another man endure hardness? Why should one man 


waste wealth in display and in the gratification of dainty 
appetites, when another man is given a bare livelihood? To 
men who believe that a rich and free and full life is dependent 
on generous spending the sight of the capitalist making his 
wasteful and vulgar display, adorning his home with costly 
luxuries, garbing his womenfolk with rich clothing, and 
pampering his children with a round of delights, are sights 
which enflame with indignation. This is the embittering 
sight. Most men count it the supreme crime of the capital¬ 
ist. Were possessions wisely used much of the bitter feeling 
would pass away, for the simplest man can see that in this 
self-indulgent spending, the capitalist not only sins against 
labour, but against society, and against his own soul. 

At the same time it must not be overlooked that these 
crimes of the capitalist are the crimes of other men. They 
are the crimes of labour. The slacker who stints his toil, the 
workman who takes advantage of a scarcity to demand a 
higher wage, stands in the dock with the man who takes the 
unjust profit. There are labourers who are as intent on their 
own wealth, and as heedless of the well-being of their fellow- 
labourers, and especially of the employer, as any capitalist. 
When an employee wastes his master’s goods, or is disloyal 
to his interest, he is equally guilty with the master who seems 
to be unjust to him. And when he spends lavishly, as has 
been done in the past few years, both in the costly pro¬ 
visions, and dainty luxuries, and extravagant clothing, as 
well as in the lavish indulgence in pleasure, he is gratifying 
the same appetites, with an equal condemnation to that vis¬ 
ited upon the capitalist. Many of the pleas for labour as 
against capital, seem to be blind to the facts that the same 
wrong-doing is evident in the conduct of both. 

This brings us to the closing question: How are these 
social wrongs to be remedied? The present method is that of 
the policing of the capitalist. This is fairly effectually at¬ 
tained, although labour is policed only by common law. 
The legislatures of every civilised land have been spending 
the greater part of their time in framing laws which deal 



with the condition of labour, the relief of the distressed, 
the sharing of the profits, with the endeavour to secure a 
larger portion of the wealth of the world for the manual 
worker. Much has been done, and more will be done, for 
it is a conviction of the modern mind, that the policing of 
capital is a primary and urgent obligation of government. 
Yet no policing can ever do more than prevent, or punish, 
some of the wrongs from which our modern economic and 
industrial order suffers. 

Others who belong to that large and varied section called 
by the common name of Socialists, demand the abolition 
of Capitalism. Some would abolish all forms of private own¬ 
ership. Others wish to sweep away the large capitalist, with 
his supporter, the receiver of dividends and interest on his 
capital. Others seem to suggest a certain datum line below 
which the possession of private property would be allowed. 
Others seem to desire that some industries should be under 
State control, but that other industries—especially agricul¬ 
ture—might be left to private ownership and management. 
These are supported on grounds set forth succinctly by one 
writer. “We consider that the capitalist is as much the victim 
of his system as the unemployed, and that he has to con¬ 
form to its evil pressure, in the same way as the poverty- 
stricken have to do. The results are not the same, but they 
are products of the same social mechanism.” 

Here we reach the real dividing line in this controversy. 
Some place their faith in a new system, but there is no posi¬ 
tion more condemned by history and by reason than this 
belief that a mechanism can heal a moral disease. There is 
no system which can be made, in a world like ours, accident- 
proof. The emergencies which arise in a world, where all the 
forces of nature, as well as the wills of men are in action 
cannot be met by the most skilfully and delicately constructed 
organism. There is no system which is fool-proof. Even a 
machine, which has been finely adapted, can be made to work 
havoc, and even to ruin the most finely designed fabric, if it 
is in charge of a heedless, and careless and stupid, although 


well-meaning, man. But there is no system that can be made 
knave-proof. It is the knave in all past history who stands out 
as the wrecker of every well-meant scheme, or system, of 
government or administration or social order. Every Com¬ 
munism has been wrecked by its Ananias and Sapphira. 
What we need is not a better system, but better men. One of 
the most sympathetic, as he was one of the wisest of the 
workers among the labourers, has written “I am a Socialist 
in so far as I desire for every one equality of opportunity, 
and an equal chance of a healthy life, and of enjoying the 
best gifts to this age.” With Canon Barnett every one must 
agree. And we shall still more heartily agree when he adds 
“After all it is the spirit which is in the people, and not the 
law, which is the most important. If, as has been said, every 
one were Christian there would be no need of Socialism; and 
until every one is Christian, Socialism will be impossible .” 2 
That is the mind of Christ. 

Glasgow, Scotland. W. M. Clow. 

2 Life, Vol. 2, p. 272. 


In a recent number of the British Weekly 1 there appeared 
an article by Professor George Jackson of Manchester which 
has been the occasion of considerable discussion, both favor¬ 
able and otherwise, in subsequent issues of that journal. 
Professor Jackson calls attention to a remarkable situa¬ 
tion in England: “on the one hand, a general acceptance of 
the results of Old Testament Criticism by the teachers of 
the Christian Church, and on the other, a widespread ignor¬ 
ance or fear of them by the great multitude of the Church’s 
members.” He declares that as far as England is concerned 
“the battle is over,” leading scholars of all evangelical de¬ 
nominations being in the ranks of the critics. He names 
eight as typical 2 and asserts that “there are no names to set 
over against these.” Yet he makes the remarkable admis¬ 
sion : “We are afraid it is no exaggeration to say that prob¬ 
ably five-sixths of the Old Testament teaching given in the 
Sunday-schools of this country last Sunday [he is speaking 
of England] was based on the presuppositions of fifty or a 
hundred years ago.” This situation Professor Jackson con¬ 
siders especially deplorable because the old view, according 
to which a Christian is commonly supposed “to stand com¬ 
mitted to the truth of everything in the Old Testament” 
has cost the Church, he believes, the adherence of many 
earnest seekers after truth who stumble, as Henry Drum¬ 
mond’s correspondence shows that men of a generation 
ago stumbled, at “its discrepancies, its rigorous laws, its 
pitiless tempers, its open treatment of sexual questions, the 
atrocities which are narrated by its histories and sanctioned 

* An address delivered by the author in Miller Chapel, October io, 
1922, oh the occasion of his Inauguration as Assistant Professor of 
Semitic Philology, and now published with some revision and the addi¬ 
tion of footnotes. 

1 July 13, 1922. 

2 Viz. Drs. Driver, Ottley, Skinner, G. A. Smith, Bennett, Wheeler 
Robinson, Peake, and Lofthouse. 



by its laws.” 2 ® He sees in the “new knowledge’’ which crit¬ 
icism has given us “one of God’s best gifts to this genera¬ 
tion”; maintains that “never before has the Old Testament 
been so intelligible, so readable, so ‘preachable’ a book as 
it has become in the hands of Christian scholars”; and re¬ 
gards it as the great task of the leaders of the Church to 
make this new knowledge accessible to those who, as he 
sadly confesses, are either “ignorant” or “afraid” of it. 

In view of the fact that Professor Jackson quotes so com¬ 
petent a judge as Dr. Hastings, the editor of the numerous 
dictionaries which bear his name, as saying that “in the 
United States of America a great upheaval is at hand over 
the Old Testament,” our subject may be regarded as a most 
timely one. And I shall ask you to consider with me whether 
it is true that “never before has the Old Testament been so 
intelligible, so readable, so ‘preachable’ a book” as the critics 
claim to have made it, that we may be able to judge whether 
there is warrant for the claim that the “new knowledge" 
should be regarded as “one of God’s best gifts to this gen¬ 
eration,”—a gift which it is our duty to receive with grati¬ 
tude and share with all mankind. 

Never before so preachable! This is a startling assertion. 
A few 7 moments ago there was read in your hearing an 
account of the first and in some respects at least the most 
successful sermon ever preached by a follower of Christ. 3 
The account which is given to us is brief. Luke devotes 
only about twenty-two verses to Peter’s sermon at Pente¬ 
cost, adding tw 7 o verses to tell us how 7 Peter gave the "in¬ 
vitation to come forward.” as the modern evangelist might 
say, and telling us that “with many other w 7 ords did he 
testify and exhort, saying save yourselves from this un¬ 
toward generation.” Now what is the most striking thing 
about this sermon of twenty-two verses as reported by Luke? 

2a Prof. Jackson’s authority for this statement is Drummond's biog¬ 
rapher, Prof. G. A. Smith (Modern Criticism and the Preaching of the 
O. T., p. 28). 

3 Acts ii. 1-36 was the Scripture Lesson read as a part of the opening 



8 l 

It is this, the prominence it gives to the Old Testament. 
Indeed, the “report” consists very largely of citations from 
it and comments thereon. We have first a five verse quota¬ 
tion from Joel, with a verse of introduction. This passage 
is briefly (in three verses) applied to the death and resur¬ 
rection of Christ. Then follows a four verse citation from 
the 16th Psalm, which is expounded by Peter as fulfilled 
in Christ’s death and resurrection; and Peter adds a second 
quotation from the Psalms, in this instance from the noth, 
to clinch his argument. This would seem to indicate that 
Peter on the day of Pentecost found the Old Testament 
Scriptures quite a ‘preachable’ book. Professor Jackson tells 
us that with the new light which Criticism has shed upon 
it, the Old Testament is more preachable than ever. We are 
fortunately in a position to test this statement as applied 
to Peter’s speech. For we have now two accounts of this 
sermon. We have the “old” account given us by Luke; and 
we have the “new” version of the Higher Critics as con¬ 
tained in the Shorter New Testament, the chief editor of 
which was Professor Kent of Yale, an Old Testament 
critic of recognized ability and one who has been engaged 
for years in what Professor Jackson considers to be the 
great task of today, popularizing the results of Criticism. 
It should be especially instructive, therefore, to know how 
Professor Kent, an authority on the new knowledge which 
makes the Old Testament so much more preachable than 
hitherto, “reports” Peter’s speech for us. 4 

We notice in the first place that the quotation from Joel 
is reduced, in the Shorter New Testament, from five verses 
to two. Evidently Peter made a mistake in using such a long 
citation! The relevant part of Joel’s prediction is contained, 
it would seem, in the first two verses; and the last three 
in which the language is apparently regarded as too “apoca- 

* It should be especially instructive, because the aim of the editors 
is stated to be “to single out and set in logical and as far as possible 
in chronological order those parts of the Bible which are of vital 
interest and practical value to the present age” (Preface of Shorter 
Bible—New Testament). 



lyptic," to appeal to the sober judgment of thoughtful men 
is omitted. Then we discover that both of the quotations from 
the Psalms are eliminated, and all of the comment which re¬ 
fers directly to them. Why is this? The reason is obvious. 
Luke represents Peter as having made these quotations from 
the Psalms on the assumption that David was their author, 
and that the language which he used is so manifestly inap¬ 
plicable to himself that it may properly be regarded as re¬ 
ferring to Christ in whom it has a remarkable fulfilment. 
But, it is one of the surest results of that “new knowledge” 
which is so highly valued by Professor Jackson that, “there 
are no Psalms certainly or even probably Davidic,” but that 
“The Psalter as a whole presumably belongs to the Second 
Temple and even to the later history of that Temple.” 5 
Consequently Professor Kent deems it advisable to delete 
these references to, and arguments based upon the Psalms. 
As a result the Old Testament citations are reduced from 
about eleven verses to two, while the entire speech is ‘short¬ 
ened’ to less than half its New Testament compass. It 
follows, then, that whether or not the Old Testament is 
more preachable than ever, Peter at any rate did not know 
how to preach it, and most of what he says about it would 
better be omitted. And if an Apostle cannot be relied on to 
preach it properly, is it surprising that many a Christian 
minister, who has accepted the new knowledge should show 
very great caution and hesitancy in using his Old Testament 
and be careful to avoid giving the “unscholarly impression 
that he is appealing to it as authoritative ? 

This example of the application of the “new knowledge” 
is noteworthy for several reasons. It not merely has an im¬ 
portant bearing upon the question of the preachableness of 
the Old Testament. It shows with equal clearness how 
close and vital is the relation between the Old Testament 
and the New, and how different is the modern critic’s 

5 Peake’s Commentary, p. 368. The section on the “Psalms” is by the 
late Prof. W. E. Addis. 


estimate of the Old Testament from that of the founders of 
the Christian Church. 

Let us now examine a little further into the character of 
this new knowledge. Principal Joyce writing in “Dr. Peake’s 
great Commentary on the Bible,” 6 as Professor Jackson 
styles it (a book from which frequent quotations will be 
made, because it is largely representative of the present con¬ 
clusions of the critics 7 and because it is one of the most 
ambitious attempts thus far made to popularize the results of 
critical study of the Bible), makes this rather startling state¬ 
ment : “Externally and to a superficial observer it may well 
have seemed that, even in the times of the Monarchy, the 
religion of Israel was distinguishable only in certain minor 
points from the religion of the neighboring tribes.” 8 This 
statement is a little general. Professor Henry Preserved 
Smith tells us regarding the religion of Israel in the days 
of Moses, “Except that he [Yahweh] was more powerful, 
he did not differ essentially from Chemosh of Moab . . . " 9 
Chemosh, you will recall, is spoken of in the Old Testament 
as “the abomination of Moab." And you will also recall that 
one of the religious practices in the worship of “the neigh¬ 
boring tribes,” which was responsible for his being called 
the abomination of Moab, was human sacrifice, “causing 
their sons to pass through the fire.” Dr. Whitehouse tells 
us that among “the darker aspects of sacrifice belonging 
to the primitive period of Canaanite and Hebrew life was 
infant sacrifice 10 to which we have an allusion in one of the 

6 A Commentary on the Bible, edited by Arthur S. Peake, M.A., 
D.D., Rylands Professor of Biblical Exegesis in the University of 
Manchester; Professor in Hartley College, Manchester. New York: 
Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1920 [cited simply as Peake]. 

7 Five of the eight leading scholars named by Prof. Jackson were 
contributors to this Commentary: Bennett, Lofthouse, Peake, Wheeler 
Robinson, and Skinner. 

8 Peake, p. 428. Principal Joyce is discussing “Old Testament Prophe¬ 
cy,” and his reference is to the pre-prophetic religion of Israel as “recon¬ 
structed” by the critics. 

9 Religion of Israel, p. 61. 

10 Prof. Whitehouse here refers to Prof. Jordan’s sketch of “The 


earliest codes (Ex. xxii. 29f.), where it is enacted that 
the human first born as well as of oxen and flocks are to 
be offered to Yahweh.” 11 The passage referred to reads as 
follows: “Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe 
fruits, and of thy liquors: the first born of thy sons shalt 
thou give unto me. Likewise shalt thou do with thine 
oxen and with thy sheep.” Canon Harford in discussing this 
law remarks: “It is not said here (vs. 29b) how the offering 
of first born boys was to be made, 12 but the obvious analogy 
of the firstlings (vs. 30, “give me,” as vs. 29b) suggests 
that the form at least of the law goes back to the time when 
children were actually sacrificed (cf. Gen. 22).” 13 Do you 

Religion of Israel” (Peake, p. 8iff.), where the question is asked, 
Was human sacrifice ever a part of Hebrew religion? and answered 
in part as follows: “It certainly does not belong to the religion of 
Yahweh, and never receives the sanction of any prophet. Hebrew 
religion first modified and then banished this ancient widespread and 
barbarous custom.” This statement seems at first sight to conflict with 
that of Prof. Whitehouse. The explanation is that Prof. Jordan does 
not regard this law of Exod. xxii. as normative of Yahweh’s religion, 
or at least of the higher Yahwism of the Prophets (see below). 

11 Peake, p. 99. 

12 Here Canon Harford refers to Exod. xiii. I2f. which the critics 
assign to the document J (the Book of the Covenant being “unanimously” 
assigned to E) and which expressly states: “and all the firstborn of 
man among thy children shalt thou redeem”—a statement which anyone 
not committed to the theory of separate documents in the Pentateuch 
would naturally regard as proving conclusively that the meaning as¬ 
signed by the critics to xxii. 29 is unwarranted, for the reason that 
this verse is to be interpreted in terms of xiii. 12. 

13 Peake, p. 187. This statement takes the middle ground between 
the two opposing views advanced by critical scholars. On the one hand 
we have Stade, Loisy and Arch. Duff, who find here a definite re¬ 
quirement that the first-born son be sacrificed to Jehovah. Stade tells 
us that the Book of the Covenant (in which this law is found) demands 
this “quite bluntly” (“ganz unverbliimt,” Geschichte, p. 634), and refers 
to this verse as proof. Loisy in contrasting this verse with xiii. 12 
gives it as his opinion that “the text in itself does not provide for 
this substitution, and one may add excludes it” (Religion of Israel, 
p. 166) ; he even finds a reference to this law in Ezek. xx. 25L (Le 
Sacrifice, p. 232). Duff does not hesitate to connect it directly with 
Moses: “This rule to sacrifice every first-born is, therefore, a very 
old one, and pictures doubtless exactly the old Mosaic worship” (Hints 
on 0 . T. Theology, p. i6if). J. Estlin Carpenter apparently favors 



recall who is said to be responsible for both the form and the 
contents of this law? The Bible tells us that this law formed 
a part of the Judgments which Jehovah gave to Moses at 
Mt. Sinai to set before the people! 

It is the view of Wellhausen on the other hand that, ac¬ 
cording to the clear teaching of the prophets of the eighth 
and seventh centuries, sacrifice had no Mosaic authoriza¬ 
tion. 14 Consequently the critic has this advantage that he 
need not attribute his law 15 of infant sacrifice to Moses, but 
may regard it as representing very largely what Professor 
Burney calls “the consuetudinary legislation of Canaan in 
the pre-Mosaic period.” 16 The critics have found it com- 

this interpretation ( Composition of the Pentateuch, p. 223). He cites 
Baudissin as regarding Exod. xxxiv. 20 as a “modification” of xxii. 29b. 
Baudissin’s words are, “This is clearly an explanation, perhaps a 
modification of the Book of the Covenant” ( Einleitung, p. 131). The 
view that “redemption” is a “modification” of the original rigor of the 
law is also strongly urged by J. G. Frazer, who claims the support 
of Noldeke for it ( The Dying God, p. 179). On the other hand, Well¬ 
hausen regards the claim on the human first-born not as “primitive” 
but as “a later generalization,” and points out that there are “no 
traces of so enormous a blood tax, but, on the contrary, many of a 
great preference for eldest sons” ( Proleg. p. 88). Smend denies that 
the wording of Exod. xxii. 29 favors the interpretation of Stade, which 
he declares would be “in most violent conflict with the spirit of the 
Book of the Covenant” ( Lehrh. d. A. T. Religionsgesch., p. 276). Addis 
calls it a “misinterpretation” ( Hebrew Religion, p. 42L). Still there 
seems to be quite a tendency, even on the part of those who agree with 
Wellhausen that the sacrifice of the first-born could never have been 
customary in Israel, to admit that the law in question is probably con¬ 
nected in some way with the ancient Semitic custom of human sacrifice 
(cf. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 464) and that this 
view is favored by the phraseology, or as Canon Harford calls it the 
“form,” of the law (cf. Baentsch, Exodus pp. 89! 203; Driver, Exodus, 
pp. 235, 4iof.; S. A. Cook, Encyc. Bib., col. 1526). 

14 In commenting on Micah vi. 6, Wellhausen says: “It is no new 
matter, but, a thing well known, that sacrifices are not what the Torah 
of the Lord contains” ( Proleg . p. 58). 

15 It is only proper to speak of it as “his” law, for he seems to 
have discovered it. It has remained apparently for modern critical 
scholarship to make a discovery of which previous generations of 
Bible students were blissfully ignorant. 

16 The Book of Judges, p. 329L This contention of Prof. Burney’s 
illustrates how radically the critics differ among themselves even on 



paratively easy to interpret the fiery denunciations pro¬ 
nounced by the prophets upon a purely external or mechan¬ 
ical conception of sacrifice as a minimizing of the value of 
sacrifice as such, and even as an absolute rejection of it as 
altogether meaningless and wrong. Thus Professor Peake 
tells us: “The prophets do not attack sacrifice in itself so 
much as sacrifice divorced from morality: yet their tone 
suggests that they attach very little intrinsic value to the 
ritual of sacrifice.” 17 Professor Kennett goes much further. 
Notice what he says: “Thus, whereas, the great prophets 
of the eighth and seventh centuries repudiated all sacrifice, 
the compromising school of reformers represented by Josiah 
and his advisers found it necessary to insist on attendance 
at the great religious feasts ...” The bearing of these 

questions of vital importance to their hypothesis. He regards the Book 
of the Covenant as representing very largely “the consuetudinary 
legislation of Canaan” as observed by such Israelitish tribes as were never 
in Egypt and did not come under the influence of Moses (cf. Peake, 
p. 169: “It is unlikely on several grounds that all the tribes were in 
Egypt”). Yet the Book of the Covenant is “unanimously” assigned by 
the critics, including Prof. Burney, to the document E, which the 
“overwhelming majority of scholars since Wellhausen” attribute to a 
man of the Northern Kingdom, and hence regard as an “Ephraimitic 
narrative.” Unless “Ephraimitic” is a tragic misnomer it should imply 
that E is par excellence the document of the Joseph tribes, which 
according to Prof. Burney are the very ones which were in Egypt and 
did come under the influence and leadership of Moses. Dr. Driver 
flatly contradicts Prof. Burney by saying: “It is reasonable to suppose 
that the teaching of Moses on these subjects [“civil ordinances” and 
“ceremonial observances”] is preserved in its least modified form in 
the Decalogue and the Book of the Covenant” ( Introd . p. I52f.).— 
Loisy thinks the Hebrews did not practice human sacrifice in the 
desert, but learned it from the Canaanites. On the other hand Bertholet 
sees in “the abomination of the Egyptians” referred to in Exod. viii. 26 
an allusion to this practice and remarks: “Because the Egyptians 
want to prevent Israel from offering their human first-born, they 
must pay the penalty with their own” ( Kulturgesch p. 100)—a state¬ 
ment which recalls Wellhausen’s remark, “Because Pharaoh refuses 
to allow the Hebrews to offer to their God the firstlings of cattle that 
are His due, Jehovah seizes from him the first-born of men” {Proleg., 
p. 88), but is far more offensive. 

17 Peake, p. 437; cf. p. 95. 



words is made still clearer by the following, . . Haggai’s 
zeal for sacrifice seems retrograde in comparison with the 
teaching of the pre-exilic prophets . . . ” 18 It is plain that 
Professor Kennett regards sacrifice as “primitive,” and 
Haggai’s insistence upon it as “retrograde.” 19 

Now let us consider the New Testament inference from 
this critical conclusion regarding the Old Testament. Dr. 
Barton has drawn it for us very clearly: “So far as western 
Asia is concerned it was left for early Christianity to in¬ 
augurate a religion entirely without such sacrifice, and then 
the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews was compelled to 
interpret the death of Christ in sacrificial terms (Heb. 7-10) 
in order to explain why the new religion could discard this 
world-old custom.” 20 This shows something of the reach 
and sweep of the “new knowledge.” It can read infant sac¬ 
rifice into what the Old Testament declares to be the Law 
of Moses and read the vicarious atonement out of New 

18 Peake, p. 573. Bousset states this view clearly as follows: “The 
prophets have always been powerful opponents of ceremonial wor¬ 
ship, not merely degraded forms of it, but any forms . . . Jehovah, 
they announced, took no pleasure in bloody sacrifice and burnt sac¬ 
rifice, in feasts, and new moons, and Sabbath solemnities. He had com¬ 
manded none of these things from the fathers in the desert” ( What is 
Religion? p. 132L) 

19 The 53rd of Isaiah, especially vss. 10-12, constitutes a serious dif¬ 
ficulty in the way of the acceptance of this view. Prof. Wardle tells 
us that “The text of these verses [vss. 10-12] is so corrupt that any 
translation is hazardous” (Peake, p. 467L). Prof. Kennett makes the 
assertion: “It is indeed improbable that there is in this whole section 
concerning the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah Hi. 13, liii.) any sacrificial 
imagery” ( The Lord’s Supper, p. 41L). This statement would be 
absurd, did not Prof. Kennett, like Prof. Wardle, have recourse to 
the familiar device of the critic, questioning the correctness of the 
text, a procedure which shows that the prophet succeeded in what 
Dr. Addison Alexander calls his “obvious design,” viz., to make it “impos¬ 
sible for any ingenuity of learning to eliminate the doctrine of vicarious 
atonement” from the passage ( The Later Prophecies of Isaiah, p. 278). 

20 The Religion of Israel, p. 210. Similarly in commenting on the 
51st Psalm Dr. Barton remarks, “The Father needs no propitiation 
except the penitence of the son for whom he has waited so long” 
(p. 215)—a statement which clearly indicated that Dr. Barton discards 
the closing verses of this psalm' as spurious. 



Testament Christianity. 21 How does the critic succeed in 
bringing about these startling results? 

The “critical” study of the Old Testament is very far 
from being a simple matter. On the contrary it is so full 
of technical difficulties and involves problems of such varied 
nature, that it has remained, as Professor Jackson regret¬ 
fully points out, very largely a terra incognita not merely 
to the majority of laymen, but to very many ministers as 
well. And it is not seldom the case that those who adopt 
it do not clearly understand it. Indeed the critics themselves 
are not backward in asserting that its problems are problems 
for scholars and must be left to them. It is the results, the 
“assured results,” arrived at by these scholars that they 
are so eager to pass on to the rank and file. But while crit¬ 
icism is a highly technical and intricate subject, and one in 
the mazes of which the unlearned and even the learned may 
easily lose his way, it is not difficult to single out the two 
great guiding principles or rules of criticism as it is under¬ 
stood to-day which are responsible for such radical and 

21 It is important to observe that the “New Testament inference” 
has been drawn clearly by several of the O. T. contributors to Peake. 
Wade in his New Testament History (p. 620), Kennett in The Last 
Supper (cf. especially his “paraphrase,” p. 35ff.), Lofthouse, in Ethics 
and Mediation (p. I33ff.) all deny that the death of Christ was a sub¬ 
stitutionary atonement; while Carpenter, in Jesus or Christ (p. 234L) 
tells us: “Jesus remains for us a man of his country, race and time,” 
which of course carries with it a denial of the atonement. Of other 
writers who have drawn the inference it will suffice to mention Bousset 
and Loisy. The latter sees in the Cross, (as an ex-Catholic he naturally 
has the Mass especially in mind), “the quintessence ( sublimation ) of 
the most abominable of sacrifices, human sacrifices” ( Le Sacrifice, 
p. 528).—It is worthy of note that Ritschl, whose aversion to the doc¬ 
trine of penal substitution is well known, accepted the critical theory 
of a distinction between the prophetic and the priestly teaching and 
regarded the former as the true one ( Rechtfertigung 11. Versohnung 3 , 
II, 53f.). It may also be noted that like Wardle, Kennett and others 
he questioned the correctness of the text of Isaiah liii. This is natural 
in view of “the great influence of Isa. liii. upon the early conception of 
the death of Christ” (cf. G. F. Moore, Encyc. Bib., col. 4233). The 
Ritschlian and the Higher Critic of the O. T. consequently have in 
this matter a common interest. 


destructive conclusions as these, to which your attention 
has just been called. The first of these rules is negative. It 
may be stated as follows:— 

The documents of the Old Testament, especially 




This conclusion may be arrived at in various ways. One pas¬ 
sage may be unreliable because its text is thought to be cor¬ 
rupt, another because it is late, another because its author is 
prejudiced, another because it contains discrepancies, another 
because it is too “ideal” or too “advanced,”—the general 
result is the same, the Old Testament as a whole is unreliable. 

This may seem to be an extreme statement, but it is not 
hard to prove. Professor Kennett tells us: “Of the religion 
of the tribes of Israel proper at the time of the conquest 
of Palestine we have no direct information; all the stories 
relating to this period are written for the edification of 
later ages and are coloured by their circumstances.” 22 Let 
us hear a second witness, Professor Henry Preserved Smith. 
Writing of Moses, he says: “All that we can with prob¬ 
ability conclude from this stream of tradition [the Penta- 
teuchal documents] is that a man named Moses had a 
marked influence on the religious development of early 
Israel. That he was not a legislator in the later sense of 
the word seems obvious.” 23 You will admit I think that it 
is correct to call this first rule of the critics a negative one. 
For a principle which in the face of all the evidence regard¬ 
ing the Mosaic period furnished us by the books of Exodus 
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, makes it possible 

22 Hastings, Encycl. of Religion and Ethics, article “Israel,” p. 400. 

23 Religion of Israel, p. 46. A like remarkable statement is the follow¬ 
ing which is cited from Day’s Social Life of the Hebrews. In the chapter 
entitled “The Influence of Individuals,” which deals with the period of 
the Judges, he remarks: “We begin with Samson, for of Joshua little 
of a reliable nature is known” (p. 49). Think of regarding Samson as 
more historical than Joshua! 



for the critic to say with assurance that we have “no direct 
information" regarding it, is certainly a negative principle. 

But does this mean that the period of Moses, for example, 
is really an utter blank as far as any reliable information is 
concerned? By no means! For the second rule is the positive 
one. It may be stated thus: 

The materials contained in the Old Testament must 


This is the positive principle. By means of it the real value 
of the Old Testament documents is to be determined. Where 
secular history has furnished us definite facts, the state¬ 
ments of the Old Testament will of course be compared di¬ 
rectly with them. Where the extra-biblical data are of a 
more general nature, the comparison will be by analogy and 
the theory of evolution will be more strictly applicable. 

Here is what Dr. S. A. Cook of Cambridge, himself a 
higher critic, has to say about the comparative method: 
“Among the most conspicuous features of modern research 
has been the application, in their widest extent, of anthropo¬ 
logical and comparative methods of inquiry. The effect has 
been to break down racial, intellectual, and psychical bound¬ 
aries, and to bring into relation all classes and races of men, 
all types of organic life, all forms of ‘matter.’ ” 24 Notice 
this further statement: “The comparative method is com¬ 
monly bound up with certain persistent and prevalent notions 
of the ‘evolution’ of thought and the ‘survival' of rude, 
superstitious or otherwise irrational beliefs and practices 
from an earlier and more backward stage in the history of 
culture.” Now Dr. Cook while believing in this method 
ventures to point out that problems may be more complex 

24 Article, “Religion” (p. 664) in Hastings, Encyc. of Religion and 



than we suppose and care should be used in applying it. But 
what it is especially important to our purpose to notice is 
that Dr. Cook states that the tendency of the comparative 
method is to “break down” all differences and “relate” all 
phenomena; 25 and that the theory of evolution is com¬ 
monly bound up with it. 

Let us now pass on to consider concretely the application 
in the hands of the critics of these two principles to the 
Old Testament. 

The Story of Hannah is one of the most touchingly beauti¬ 
ful in the whole Bible. It stands out with singular attractive¬ 
ness against the dark background of what has been aptly 
called “Israel’s iron age,” the rough period when the Judges 
ruled. And the story itself has its dark shadows as well as its 
shining vistas. The darkest shadow of all, perhaps, is when 
Eli seeing Hannah’s lips moving in earnest prayer, accuses 
her of drunkenness—Eli, whose rebuke of his worthless sons 
was so mild and unavailing! Regarding this story, Principal 
Bennett has this to say: “The priest of the sanctuary, Eli, 
a local magnate, also spoken of as ‘judge,’ (iv. 18) oc¬ 
cupied an official seat close by: he knew that the religious 
character of the occasion did not always prevent feasting 
from degenerating into excess (Is. xxviii. 7, Am. ii. 8), 
so that when he saw Hannah moving her lips without mak¬ 
ing any audible sound, he thought she was drunk and re¬ 
buked her.” 26 With this part of the narrative the critic 
has no fault to find. It fits into his theory that the feasts 
of the Lord originally partook much of the nature of similar 
feasts in neighboring peoples and were not free from un¬ 
worthy and even immoral (orgiastic) features. But, how about 
Hannah’s Song? This is what Dr. Bennett tells us: “This 
poem is quite unsuited to Hannah’s circumstances; its the- 

25 Bousset (What is Religion?, p. 7) sets this view in its religious 
aspect squarely over against the belief (he calls it, “this wide-spread 
opinion”) in the uniqueness and finality of the Christian religion, 
asserting that it is this new conception which has made the modern 
scientific study of religion possible. 

26 Peake, p. 274C 


ology is too advanced for primitive times (vss. 2, 6, 8), and 
the reference to the ‘king’ (vs. 10) implies an actual king 
and indicates the period of the Monarchy, or is Messianic, 
i.e., connected with the hope of an ideal king, and implies a 
post-exilic date.” 27 Poor Hannah! that part of the narrative 
which contains Eli’s base suggestion that she was drunk 
can be accepted without demur, and may even be welcomed 
by the critic because of the light which it casts upon the 
religious practices of that benighted age. But, the “theology” 
of her song is too advanced to be allowed to her; and she, 
the mother of Samuel the King-maker, may not be permitted 
to speak of the king! 

But, we may ask, what was the nature of the religion 
of this primitive period for which the Song of Hannah 
was too advanced? We have already seen that according 
to Principal Joyce the religion of Israel in the days of the 
Monarchy did not obviously differ materially from that 
of the neighboring tribes. And if that be the case Hannah’s 
Song might well be regarded as too advanced. But what is 
the proof of this remarkable statement, by what critical 
legerdemain does this simple psalm of praise become too 
advanced for the post Mosaic period? A few examples will 
serve to illustrate the way it is done. 

Professor Addis has this to say about the covenant name 
Jehovah: “The correct pronunciation of the name is Yahwe, 
and in Exod. iii. 14 it is said to mean, ‘I will be what 
I am wont to be’; in other words, through all change 
and in each manifestation of Himself Jehovah remains the 
same ever-faithful God. No one will deny that this is a 
beautiful and sublime interpretation—but we must remem¬ 
ber that we meet it first in a writer who lived centuries after 
Moses. It is, moreover, most unlikely, considering the social 
conditions of the tribes in Mosaic times, that they would 
have understood or accepted a divine name so abstract and 
refined. . . . Other modern explanations are much more 
in accordance with the analogy of early religions which 

27 Peake, p. 275 . 



begin with material conceptions, and they are consistent 
with sound philology. Three of these may be mentioned 
here: viz. ‘he who casts down,’ rain, hail, lightning, etc.; 
‘he who- casts down’ his foes; ‘he who blows,’ on which 
last supposition Jehovah was at first a wind god like the 
Assyrian Ramman, or the Teutonic Wodan.” 28 You observe 
the method? It is very simple! It is also very effective! The 
document is affirmed to be late; it is assumed to be unreli¬ 
able; its explanation of the name Jehovah, is declared to 
be too advanced for a primitive people; one more in harmony 
with the analogy of other religions is substituted, and the 
name Yahwe can now be “plausibly” cited as supporting 
the view that the God of Israel was originally a storm god 
like Ramman or Wodan. Real proof there is none. The 
Old Testament does tell us of course that the Lord thunders 
from heaven and that He rides upon the wings of the wind. 
But that does not make Him a weather god. And no valid 
objection can be brought against the interpretation of the 
name given us in the biblical record. But this other explana¬ 
tion suits the theory of the critics that Yahwe was originally 
little different from the gods of the neighboring peoples. 
And this is all that is needed. 

As a second example of the method of the critics, Dr. 
Skinner’s statement regarding the naming of Gad the son 
of Leah may be cited: “Gad is the name of an Aramaean 
and Phoenician god of luck , mentioned in Is. lxv. n. 

. . . There is no difficulty in supposing that a hybrid tribe 
like Gad traced its ancestry to this deity and was named 
after him ; 29 though, of course, no such idea is expressed in 
the text. In Leah’s exclamation the word is used appella- 
tively: With Luck. It is probable, however, that at an earlier 

28 Hebrew Religion, p. 65k Prof. Addis seems to favor the explan¬ 
ation, “he who casts down” (lightning, etc.). It was pointed out above 
that Prof. Addis prepared the section on the “Psalms” in Peake. 

29 There is a difficulty and a serious one in supposing this: the 
narrative tells us plainly that Gad was a son of the patriarch Jacob 
by Leah (i.e. Zilpah.). 



time it was current in the sense ‘With Gad’s help.’ ” 30 Why is 
it “probable” that a polytheistic meaning lies back of the ap¬ 
pellative one adopted by Dr. Skinner? It is “probable” because 
the analogy of the “neighboring tribes”—their mythology and 
folk-lore—is regarded as favoring the view that this simple 
and straightforward account of the birth and naming of Gad 
must be regarded as fictitious and interpreted in terms of a 
legend which would trace the ancestry of this tribe to an 
eponymous hero or god. 31 But what is especially significant 
is that Dr. Skinner while regarding this view as “probable" 
says of it (and his words will bear repeating, since it is not 
often that a higher critic speaks so plainly), “though of 
course no such idea is expressed in the text.” We can see that 
with half an eye. But, the legendary view is “probable” just 
the same! 

In Lev. xix. 9-10 we have the Law of Reaping. “And when 
ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap 
the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the glean¬ 
ings of thy harvest.” The reason is plainly stated in vs. 10: 
“thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger.” Professor 
Lofthouse tells us: “It may well be that the corners of the 
field were originally left so as to avoid driving out the 
vegetable spirit.” And he adds, “That motive is now for¬ 
gotten ; the practice remains, and a new motive characteristic 
of the codifier and the period [the post-exilic] is found." 32 

30 Genesis, p. 387 (Internat. Crit. Ser.). C. J. Ball and Gunkel are 
referred to as favoring this view. The rendering of the AV “a troop 
cometh” which is supported by the Targum and Peshitto is due per¬ 
haps to a too literal interpretation of Gen. xlix. 19, which may simply 
involve a play upon the words gadh and gedhudh, without implying 
that they have a similar meaning. Both the LXX and the Vulgate favor 
the rendering “With luck.” 

31 The weakness of this claim is well shown by Orr, Problem of the 
O.T. p. 88ff. And we have seen that Professor Skinner himself while 
advocating the mythological view of the name admits that it is here 
used appellatively. 

32 Peake, p. 207f. This passage has been more fully discussed in 
The Presbyterian of Dec. 29, 1921, in an article entitled, “The Quest 
of the Primitive.” 



The fact that the one motive is clearly stated and the other 
is a “forgotten" one, does not prevent the critic from regard¬ 
ing the forgotten one as original and setting the other aside 
in its favor. 

Let us look at still another instance. Among the events 
recorded in the Old Testament, which stand out in bold re¬ 
lief, there are few if any which are given such unenviable 
prominence as the apostasy of Jeroboam. “He departed not 
from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat which made 
Israel to sin,” is the dirge-like refrain which occurs again 
and again in the Book of Kings. In Peake’s Commentary 
the charges brought against Jeroboam are analyzed by Pro¬ 
fessor Foakes Jackson into six specifications, and Jeroboam 
is acquitted on every count. Regarding the calf-worship it 
is stated that he “may here not have introduced a new wor¬ 
ship, but one which was already common in Israel.” 33 Pro¬ 
fessor Barton tells us emphatically that Jeroboam “was not 
a religious innovator, but a religious conservative.” 34 How 
does the critic succeed in thus reversing the verdict of the 
Book of Kings? Professor Foakes Jackson tells us: “The 
whole account of him in Kings is coloured by the preju¬ 
dices of a much later age, and in view of all the evil 
which followed from the partition of the two kingdoms” 35 
—a very simple way of getting rid of difficulties. Of course, 
if the account in Kings is prejudiced Jeroboam may be 
greatly misrepresented. But notice how far the application 
of his negative principle has carried the critic. Kings is 
supposed to be generally reliable, and its statements are ap¬ 
pealed to by the critics to discredit Chronicles. And if it 

33 Peake, p. 301. 

34 The Religion of Israel, p. 86. Not content with this he asserts that 
Solomon was a religious innovator and tries to make his “innovations” 
in building the Temple responsible in part for the schism which fol¬ 
lowed so soon after his death, regardless of the fact that the Book of 
Kings clearly states that the Temple was built at the behest of 
David, was blessed by the visible presence of Almighty God, and was 
rejoiced in by all the people. 

35 Peake, p. 300. 



cannot be trusted, where are we to go for reliable inform¬ 
ation regarding so important an event as the alleged apostasy 
of Jeroboam? And how does the critic know enough about 
Jeroboam to be able to affirm positively that the statements 
in the Book of Kings are wrong? It is at this point that the 
positive rule of the critic comes in. We have seen that accord¬ 
ing to Principal Joyce, “Superficially considered it may well 
have seemed that, even in the time of the Monarchy the 
religion of Israel was distinguishable only in certain minor 
points from the religion of the neighboring tribes,” and that 
according to Canon Harford one of the earliest codes, dating 
from the time of the early monarchy, was so phrased that 
an ardent worshipper of Yahweh might consider it his duty 
to sacrifice his first born to him, as the men of the neigh¬ 
boring tribes did to their gods. And if by “religious conserv¬ 
ative” we are to understand a man holding such views, 
the designation may not after all be so inapplicable to 
Jeroboam as would be at first supposed. But, to enter a little 
into the details of the question, it is clear that in Kings 
the principal charge is, the idolatrous worship of other gods. 
Could a man be guilty of this and still be, not an innovator, 
an apostate, but merely a religious conservative? 

First the idolatrous feature, the worship of the calves, 
was this unlawful in the days of Jeroboam? Certainly, you 
will say, the Law of Moses strictly prohibits it: “Thou shalt 
not make unto thee any graven image.” Listen to what Pro¬ 
fessor M’Neile, has to say about this commandment. He 
sums it up briefly in the words, “No visible representation 
of Yahweh may be made.” And then he adds, “This is one of 
the surest signs that the Decalogue as we have it was much 
later than Moses. Images were widely used in Yahweh’s 
worship till the time of the prophets.” 36 With regard to 
this last point, it can only be remarked in passing that this 
“use” is repeatedly stated in the Old Testament to be con¬ 
trary to the Law of Moses. But what I ask you to observe 

36 Exodus, p. 115. The article in Peake on “The History of Israel’’ 
was prepared by Prof. McNeile. 



especially is the sentence which precedes it—as an illustra¬ 
tion of the critical method it is very significant. It shows 
that the express prohibition of idolatry 37 contained in the 
Second Commandment and definitely declared to have been 
uttered by Jehovah himself at Mt. Sinai, is regarded by 
the critic as proving, not that idolatry was contrary to 
the fundamental law of Israel from the days of Moses, but 
rather that the Decalogue cannot be regarded as being what 
it purports to be, Mosaic. This of course helps us to get a 
clearer idea of Jeroboam’s action as the critic sees it. Idol¬ 
atry in his day was a lawful or at least a tolerated element 
in Jehovah’s worship; it may have been a bit old fashioned, 
but could not be regarded as actually wrong. 38 Jeroboam 
was simply retaining or reviving the old custom of wor¬ 
shipping Yahweh under the symbol of a calf or bull, a 
practice which had perhaps suggested itself to him during 
his enforced sojourn in Egypt. 

But what was the nature of this idolatrous worship? It 
is important to observe that in the Book of Kings, Jeroboam 
is reported to have said, “Behold your gods, O Israel,” which 
brought thee up out of Egypt. The plural of the verb 39 indi¬ 
cates clearly that it was not merely an idolatrous worship of 
Jehovah, as Dr. Barton and other critics suppose, 40 but the 

37 The critics are inclined to take the word “graven image” with 
absolute literalness and argue that only certain kinds of images are 
forbidden. But this is a sublety for which there is no real warrant. 
The Second Commandment condemns not the use of certain kinds of 
idols but idolatry as such. 

38 Bousset expresses himself quite strongly on this point: “The 
right view of images has been obstructed largely owing to the aversion 
with which the Old and the New Testaments regard the worship of 
images. People forget that the men of the Old and New Testaments— 
Jeremiah, the second Isaiah, Paul—were engaged in actual warfare 
with lower forms of religion and were, therefore, not capable of an 
impartial historic judgment” (What is Religionf, p. 78). 

39 When elohim is used as a plural of majesty it is almost invariably 
construed as a singular. 

40 The statement of Dr. Barton quoted above reads in full as follows: 
“Jeroboam when he said: Behold thy God, O Israel, who brought thee 
up out of the land of Egypt (1 Kings xii. 28), was not a religious 
innovator, but a religious conservative” (p. 86). 



service of “other gods” which this religious conservative 
introduced at Bethel and Dan. Might we accept this state¬ 
ment,—that Jeroboam became a polytheist,—unreliable as 
the critics consider the narrative to be, and still regard him 
as a religious conservative, not as an innovator and apostate ? 
Yes, we might even expect that this would be the case, 
for “the worship of more than one divine being at the same 
time was the rule” among the neighboring tribes ; 41 and 
while the “fierce jealousy” of Yahweh might oppose it, a 
worship which as Principal Joyce tells us differed only in 
minor points from them, might tolerate at least in a re¬ 
ligious conservative like Jeroboam the practice of poly¬ 
theism. But,—and here I touch on a very unpleasant subject, 
—what kind of gods were these gods of the neighboring 
tribes? Orelli tells us: “They are divided into male and fe¬ 
male groups of two "; 42 and then he adds, with a view to 
pointing out the difference between these religions and that 
of Israel, “while in Hebrew there is not even a word extant 
for goddess, and the idea of a female companion-being to 
Jehovah is an impossibility.” As to the fact that there is in 
the Hebrew language no word for “goddess,” there can be 
no question. And certainly to us the idea of “a female com¬ 
panion-being to Jehovah" seems impossible; and the very 
suggestion is repulsive and blasphemous in the extreme. But, 
is it impossible to the Old Testament critic? 

The view that there was a connection between the religion 
of Moses and that of the Kenites has been much discussed. 
Professor Barton has been one of its strongest advocates. 
And that there may have been such a connection is admitted 
in Peake’s Commentary . 43 Dr. Barton, whose views are very 
extreme, thinks that “the ritual of the Day of Atonement 

41 Orelli, article “Israel, Religion of” in Internet. Stand. Bible Encyc. 
p. 1535 - Orelli refers specifically to the Phoenician, Aramean, Baby¬ 
lonian, and Egyptian gods. 

42 Ibid. Cf. Bousset, What is Religion? p. 62. 

43 McNeile (Peake, p. 64) seems to regard it as correct, Jordan 
(ibid, p. 84) is non-committal, Harford (ibid, p. 170) considers it 



is probably a survival under a new interpretation of the 
worship of Tammuz, or equivalent god, in connection with 
the worship of Yahweh.” He suggests that with this was 
connected the worship of the “primitive goddess Ashtart 
[Ashtoreth]’’; and draws the following inference: “Analogy 
thus leads us to believe that probably the Yahwe worship of 
the Kenites contained an Ashtart. If such was the case, some 
will be ready to urge that that is no evidence that such 
worship was adopted by Moses. It must be admitted, how¬ 
ever, that if the Kenites associated an Ashtart with Yahwe, 
Moses and the Hebrews would inevitably worship her too. 
Converts to a new religion are not its reformers, but its 
blindest devotees .” 44 Do you wonder, my hearer, that a man 
who holds such views regarding the origin of Israel’s re¬ 
ligion, can characterize Jeroboam with his calf-worship, as 
a “religious conservative” ? 

This suggestion of Professor Barton’s is so repugnant, so 
utterly contrary to all that we believe that the Bible plainly 
teaches regarding the religion of the Old Testament, that 
I hesitated to refer to it in this place. I have cited it because 
it shows in all its naked hideousness the result of insisting 
upon the application of the ‘comparative-development’ theory 
to the religion of Israel. For the logic of the situation is 
plainly on the side of Dr. Barton . 45 If you set out deliberately 
to ‘connect up’ the religion of Israel with that of the neigh¬ 
boring nations by means of the comparative method, you 
cannot ignore, you cannot close your eyes to, one of their 
most obvious characteristics, the sensuality which enters not 
only into their religious practices but into their religious 
beliefs. And it is when we compare such teachings as these 
with the fact writ so large on the pages of the Old Testament 
that these ideas and practices were utterly foreign 46 to the 

44 Sketch of Semitic Origins, p. 289f. 

45 Cf. note on “Primitive Jahwism,’’ pp. 113-115 infra. 

46 The unique purity of the theology and cultus of the O. T. religion 
is, especially in view of its environment, one of its most striking features, 
one which sets it apart most markedly from the cults of the neigh- 



religion of the “Holy One of Israel” that we realize to what 
disastrous conclusions the theories of the critics lead us. 

We are now prepared I think to decide the question 
whether, as Professor Jackson maintains, the Old Testament 
is more intelligible, more readable, more ‘preachable’ than 
ever, and whether the “new knowledge” which the critic 
claims to have furnished us is one of God’s best gifts to this 
generation. Let me ask you as ministers and candidates for 
the ministry, a few very practical questions. When your people 
bring their little ones to present them to the Lord in baptism, 
will it be a pleasant duty for you to tell them that had they 
lived in the days of David, Jehovah like Chemosh or Molech 
would have accepted, perhaps even required the sacrifice of 
their first-born upon his altar? “Five-sixths” of those to 
whom it will be your privilege to minister, the “ignorant” 
and “timid” ones to whom Professor Jackson refers as hold¬ 
ing the old view of the Bible, are accustomed to think of Him 
as the tender, loving Shepherd. To them the 23rd Psalm, 
as a Psalm of David, is very precious. They love to say. 
The Lord is my shepherd, and to think of Him as,—to use 
those words of Isaiah, which Handel made the theme of one 
of the most beautiful arias of The Messiah ,•—‘feeding His 
flock like a shepherd, and gathering the lambs in His arms 
and carrying them in His bosom.' It is a comfort to them 
to believe that their God is the God of their fathers, the 
God of Isaiah and David, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 
They may find it hard to commit themselves, still harder to 
give their little ones to a God who in the days of David, 47 

boring tribes. Passages like Deut. iv. 14L, Exod. xix. 15, xx. 26 show 
how utterly different was the religion of Israel from those ethnic 
religions in which immorality was practised and even fostered under 
the sanctions of religion. 

*' David, being of the tribe of Judah (one of the tribes which ac¬ 
cording to Prof. Burney was probably never in Egypt and so did not 
come under the influence of Moses) might be expected to cling to the 
“consuetudinary legislation of Canaan ’ and therefore to a belief in the 
validity and necessity of human sacrifice. Yet, on the other hand as we 
have seen, it is the “Judean” document J which provides a substitute for 
the human first-born. 



demanded them in sacrifice. Do you wonder they are afraid 
of the new knowledge? Do you crave the privilege of en¬ 
lightening their darkness? For it cannot be too strongly em¬ 
phasized that the critics are solely responsible for this 
enormity of making the law in Exodus xxii. refer to infant 
sacrifice. They point with pride to the difficulties which their 
critical analysis of the Pentateuch has solved. But it is their 
analysis alone which stands in the way of the interpretation 
of this law of Exodus xxii. in terms of the preliminary state¬ 
ment of Exodus xiii. where it says definitely, “and all the 
first born of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.” 

On the other hand, if at prayer-meeting they call for 
the old hymn “Just as I am without one plea. But that 
Thy blood was shed for me,” how will you dare to tell 
them that Jeremiah protested centuries ago against the ‘blood 
theology’ and that it was only as a concession to a world 
old custom—a primitive belief—that the New Testament 
writers interpreted the death of Christ in sacrificial terms, 
and thus teach them, by inference if not explicitly, to ac¬ 
count the blood wherewith they have been sanctified an un¬ 
holy thing? 

Again, it is generally recognized that it is hard to in¬ 
terest people in the study of the Bible. Even those who pro¬ 
fess to believe it to be from cover to cover the Word of God, 
are sometimes sadly ignorant of its contents. Will it make 
the teaching of the Bible easier for you, if you are obliged 
to caution your people constantly against accepting its state¬ 
ments at their face value and in their obvious sense? They 
read in Exodus iii. a statement which implies that Jehovah 
means “I am that I am,” or to quote again Professor Addis’ 
words, “I will be what I am wont to be.” And then you must 
tell them that this interpretation is late and incorrect; that 
it is too advanced for a primitive age, and opposed by the 
analogy of other religions; that the original meaning was 
perhaps “he who casts down.” They read the account of the 
naming of Gad, and you must tell them that the meaning 
of Leah’s glad exclamation was probably originally, “With 



Gad's help." And if you are as frank as Professor Skinner, 
you will add, as he does, “though of course no such idea 
is expressed in the text." They will read the law of gleaning 
in Leviticus, and will be inclined to accept the explanation 
that it was intended to provide for the poor. You must tell 
them that this is the view of a post-exilic writer, but that 
the “original’’ motive, which is now “forgotten” was to 
provide sustenance for the corn spirits, that the next harvest 
may be plentiful. And if they draw the inference that this 
original motive was the accepted one in the time of Moses 
to whom the law is attributed by this late compiler, and 
conclude that Moses had some very primitive and super¬ 
stitious notions, you will of course not be surprised. If they 
are inclined to accept the harsh estimate passed upon Jero¬ 
boam for introducing idolatry and the worship of “other 
gods" in the Northern Kingdom, you must point out to them 
that Jeroboam was not an innovator or an apostate, but 
merely a religious conservative, and that the account in 
Kings is ‘prejudiced.’ And if they call your attention to the 
fact that Kings is often appealed to by the critics as reliable, 
your reply will be that the “Deuteronomic” redactor has “ed¬ 
ited” this narrative and sacrificed “historical accuracy” to 
“moral purpose.” And if, finally, after a steady diet of this 
kind they show a disposition to confess that they have 
reached the point that they do not know what to believe and 
are disposed to give up as hopeless the study of the Old 
Testament, 48 —do you think that this will be altogether sur¬ 
prising? Is it remarkable that “five-sixths” of the church 
people prefer to remain in happy ignorance of this “new 
knowledge,” or say frankly that they are afraid of it? 

48 Prof. Bade in The Old Testament in the Light of To-Day (1915) 
gives his first chapter the striking title “The Old Testament under 
Sentence of Life.” He calls attention to the “numerous proposals” 
made during the past generation “to eliminate the Old Testament from 
the religious education of the young.” He argues that criticism has 
made these proposals unnecessary. Being himself a radical critic, he 
would of course be loath to admit what seems so obvious to us that the 
“proposals” referred to are the result in large measure of the destructive 
conclusions of Criticism. 



What then do the critics mean when they tell us that the 
new knowledge has removed the difficulties which were a 
stumbling block in the past, and made the Bible more in¬ 
telligible, more readable, more preachable, than ever before? 
They surely cannot mean that the Old Testament as they in¬ 
terpret it, is free from discrepancies, and contradictions, from 
imperfections and moral blemishes. No one could affirm that 
their conception of Israel’s religion in the time of Moses, 
for example, is an ideal one. The fact that the Yahweh of 
the critics can be compared to Chemosh is sufficient proof of 
that. What they do mean is this, that by their ruthless ex¬ 
posure of the imperfections of the Old Testament, as they 
see them, they have effectually and finally disposed of the 
old doctrine of its inerrancy and divine authority, or as 
Professor Jackson expresses it, of the idea that to be a 
Christian means among other things “to stand committed 
to the truth of everything recording in the Old Testament,’’ 49 
and that by studying it in the light of comparative religion 
and applying to it the law of evolution they have made it 
with all its imperfections a more intelligible book than ever. 
“For,” as Professor Bade expresses it, “the harm lies not 
in dealing with imperfect moral standards, but in failure to 
recognize them as imperfect.” 50 And if we but recognize 
that there are in the Old Testament religion the same im¬ 
perfections as in the ethnic faiths, if we study it in the 
light of a “scientific” theory which teaches that there is noth¬ 
ing high and noble and ideal, which has not been evolved 
out of something which is low and ignoble and vile, then 
the Old Testament becomes an intelligible book because 
we are reading it as we would any other book; and have 
no more reason to be shocked at the imperfections and crud¬ 
ities of the Old Testament than at the abominations of 

49 This statement is ambiguous. The truth and authority of the 
O. T. as the word of God does not involve or imply that everything 
in it is true except historically. Gen. iii. for example records a “lie” 
of Satan. The record is true; but the lie is a lie. 

50 The Old Testament in the Light of To-Day, p. 5. 



primitive Semitic religion or the moral lapses related in 
classical mythology. 

I am afraid that I have already taxed your patience too 
much; but I hope that you will bear with me for a few 
moments longer while I point out to you briefly the most 
serious objections to the acceptance of the “new knowledge," 
the reasons why it must be regarded, not as “one of God’s 
best gifts to this generation,” but rather as “a strong 
delusion,” to be opposed as such by every true follower of 

I have called your attention to the two great guiding 
principles of criticism: the negative which questions the 
reliability of any and every statement of the Old Testament, 
until it has received the imprimatur of the critics; the posi¬ 
tive which makes its correspondence with the analogy of 
other religions the test of its truth. They stand opposed to 
the two great fundamental doctrines of historic Christianity. 
The negative principle is the direct antithesis of the belief 
of the Church in the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. 
To the simple, “It is written” of Christian faith, it opposes 
the “I know better” of the modern critic. No statement can 
be accepted until the critic has approved it. He feels at liberty 
to carve up a document into as many pieces as he pleases, and 
to assign them to any date which he sees fit, regardless of the 
historic faith of the Church or the claims of the document 
itself. He claims the right to reject any statement contained 
in any document if it does not suit him; or to read into it 
any meaning however far-fetched, which suits his purpose, 
and to read out of it any meaning, however clear and un¬ 
mistakable, which does not suit it. He does not hesitate to 
question the veracity of the author of a document at pleas¬ 
ure, and to set his statements aside and reject his argu¬ 
ments as prejudiced or incorrect, if they do not agree with 
what he regards as the true facts of the case. He is even 
known to use a statement to prove exactly the reverse of 
what the one who made it specifically intended. To appeal 
to any passage or text as proving that the Bible teaches this 


or that is futile. For there is no statement which can with¬ 
stand the assault of the critic. Abraham becomes a myth, 
Moses ceases to be a legislator, Jeroboam becomes a religious 
conservative. The one thing certain about, the Decalogue is 
that Moses had nothing or next to nothing to do with it. 
The Bible instead of being a book which speaks with the 
simplicity and directness of a credible witness, nay more, 
with the authority of God Himself, as men have for cen¬ 
turies believed, becomes a mass of contradictions and mis¬ 
statements. This is sufficient in itself to discredit the theories 
and methods of the critics. A theory regarding the religion 
of Israel which treats so ruthlessly its best and in most 
respects its only witness has a serious charge to answer at the 
outset, the charge of tampering with the evidence! But the 
seriousness of the charge becomes doubly apparent when 
we ask ourselves the question, Why are these radical and 
ruthless measures necessary? why is the critic obliged to 
doctor the text, to discredit the witness, to seek hidden 
meanings, to make a diligent search for discrepancies? It 
is necessary because the positive rule of the critic is the 
antithesis of the biblical doctrine of the uniqueness of the 
Old Testament religion. 

The critics proceed as we have seen on the assumption 
that the religion of Israel in the time of Moses, for example, 
was very similar to the religions of the neighboring tribes 
and was perhaps derived directly from one of them. Yet 
in order to assert this with any degree of plausibility they 
are forced to discredit the patent claim of four books of 
the Pentateuch, to give a very different account of it, and 
to assert that regarding the religion of this period we have, 
as Professor Kennett says, “no direct information.” They 
must rule out the direct information because the Old Testa¬ 
ment asserts again and again that there is an utter difference 
between the religion of Israel and that of the neighboring 
tribes. We find this contrast set forth with especial clearness 
by the great writing prophets. Listen to Jeremiah: “The 
gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even 



they shall perish from the earth and from under these 
heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath 
established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched 
out the heavens by his discretion.” They have perished and 
their idols have been thrown to the moles and bats. Why 
has He not shared their fate? Jeremiah tells us: because He 
is “the true God and the living God, and an everlasting 
king.” Or, think of that wonderful picture which Isaiah gives 
us of the impotence of the gods of Babylon and the might 
of Israel's God. “Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their 
idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your car¬ 
riages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary 
beast.” What a picture of utter helplessness! The idols must 
be carried because they cannot go. Listen now to the words 
which follow: “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all 
the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me 
from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And 
even unto your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs 
will I carry r you, / have made, and I will bear, even / will 
carry and will deliver you.” The idols are things of vanity. 
Is it to them that we shall liken the God of Israel? And 
this unique claim is not found first in Isaiah and Jeremiah. 
Moses in the book of Deuteronomy repeatedly speaks of 
the uniqueness of Jehovah. 31 At Sinai Israel learned from 
God himself that He who brought them out of the land 
of Egypt out of the house of bondage was the “Creator 
of the heavens and the earth.” And of Abraham we read 

51 Being convinced that Deuteronomy dates from the 7th cty., the 
critics are not concerned as formerly to deny that its doctrine of 
God is monotheistic. Since they regard the prophets of the 8th and 7th 
centuries as the discoverers of monotheism, as distinct from heno- 
theism, it is natural for them to seek confirmation of this view in 
a book which they insist on dating from this period. Barton argues 
that Jeremiah was the first “theoretical monotheist” because he speaks 
of the gods of the heathen as vanities, “mere figments of the imagin¬ 
ation” (Religion of Israel, p. 123). The same characterization meets 
us in Deut. xxxii. 21, in a passage which is called the “Song of Moses," 
a circumstance which accounts in part for the consistent faith of the 
Church that Moses was also a theoretical monotheist. 



that he caused his servant to swear by “Jehovah the God 
of heaven and the God of the earth.” Yet the critics try to 
make the religion of Israel follow the analogy of these 
ethnic faiths. If they are right in this, why has it not per¬ 
ished from the earth long ago as they have? If on the con¬ 
trary it is essentially different from them, why must we 
suppose that it once so closely resembled them, why seek to 
derive it from them? 52 

There is a striking question in the book of Job to which 
the critics might well give heed. “Who can bring a clean 
thing out of an unclean?” The answer given is, “Not one!” 
The critics have long been endeavoring to change this answer. 
They have sought to bring the pure and lofty ethical mono¬ 
theism of the prophet Jeremiah out of the foul and noisome 
swamp of primitive Semitic religion. But they have failed 
and they must fail. An Ethiopian cannot change his skin; 
a leopard cannot change his spots. And a Chemosh-like god 
of the Kenites cannot change or develop or evolve into the 
“Holy One of Israel.” 53 

52 Prof. Burney speaks as follows: “A special Providence, a chosen 
people, a unique Revelation made in an early period in the history of 
the race to a leader and teacher endowed with exceptional qualifications 
for his office—these are factors which tradition pictures as guiding 
and determining the evolution; and however much modern scientific 
study may modify our conceptions of the process, it will be found 
that, apart from the recognition of such factors, the history of Israel’s 
religious development remains an insoluble enigma” (The Book of 
Judges, p. cxx.f.). It is strange that one who can make such a con¬ 
fession as this is willing to go to the lengths that Dr. Burney does in 
the attempt to relate the religion of Israel to the ethnic religions and 
to derive it from them. 

53 The Conservative who holds to the historic belief of the Church that 
Deuteronomy is Mosaic will find in the late dating advocated by the critics 
a striking proof that there has been in the religion of Israel no such 
development as has been so confidently asserted by the advocates of 
the development hypothesis. That this Mosaic law-book is found by 
the critics so “admirably” suited to the golden age of prophetism is a 
sufficient refutation of the claim that prophetism constituted a great 
advance upon Mosaism. On the contrary it is clear that the prophets 
regarded it as their duty to impress upon the people the prime neces¬ 
sity of keeping the law of Moses. And the final injunction of the 



It would be different of course if the Old Testament pro¬ 
fessed to be nothing more than the record of man’s search¬ 
ings after God. We could then trace or try to trace, as the 
critic seeks to do, the gradual refinement of religious spec¬ 
ulation, and point with pride to the progress which man 
has made in the interpretation of his world. But that would 
result in pure scepticism. For how could we be sure that 
there is any reality corresponding to that mental concept 
which men call “god,’’ and which the Moabite individualized 
as Chemosh and the Hebrew calls Jehovah, and the Moslem 
calls Allah? Professor Leuba in his A Psychological Study 
of Religion has a chapter entitled “The Making of Gods 
and the Essential Characteristics of a Divinity.” Yet Leuba 
is an atheist who holds that “The great mass of enlightened 
men can get along without the personal God and immortal¬ 
ity.” 31 But the Bible does not profess to be a record of the 
religious speculations of Hebrew thinkers, though it does 
tell us plainly that sinful men have thought that God was 
‘altogether like unto themselves’ (perhaps the best character¬ 
ization and condemnation of the ethnic faiths ever penned) ; 
and that they have “changed the glory of the incorruptible 
God into an image made like to corruptible man and to 
birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things”; and 
that they “worshipped and served the creature rather than 
the Creator.” We get a very good picture of ‘primitive 
Semitic religion' in the first of Romans! But the Bible does 
claim to be a record of the self-revelation which the one 
living and true God made to a peculiar people. As such it 
stands on a different plane from the ethnic faiths and phi¬ 
losophies. And one of the clearest proofs that this is the 
case is found in the tremendous difficulty, the sheer impos¬ 
sibility, which the critics have encountered in their effort 
to bring it into relation with them. The extreme methods 

last of the prophets is this: “Remember ye the law of Moses my 
servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with 
the statutes and judgments.” 

54 Pp. 11iff., 328. 


which they employ and of which examples have been cited 
prove this conclusively. They dare not allow the Old Testa¬ 
ment to witness freely in its own behalf lest it denounce their 
theories to their face. 

The idea of “comparing” the religion of Israel with the 
ethnic faiths is not new. On the contrary it is very old. The 
prophets of Israel made particularly effective use of it; and 
believing scholars of every age have found it a most con¬ 
vincing apologetic. But this is because they accepted the 
definite statements of the Old Testament as true, as giving 
an accurate and adequate account of the religion of Israel, 
with the result that they were impressed, as every one who 
does this must be, with its uniqueness and incomparability. 
The new method on the other hand makes the ethnic re¬ 
ligions, of many of which—the beliefs of the Kenites and 
the Moabites for example—we know astonishingly little, 
the standard of comparison, nay more, the arbiter and 
judge 55 to determine the actual nature, the real genesis and 
development of Israel’s religion, as a phenomenon regarding 
which the Old Testament gives us no reliable information. 
The one method exhibits clearly the peculiar excellence of 
Israel’s God and the folly of idolatry. The other method 
sets the “Holy One of Israel” before us as a Chemosh-like 
god of the Kenites who only gradually loses his repellant 
characteristics as man himself becomes more refined and 
advanced in his religious ideas. But this god of the critics 
is not the God of the Hebrew prophets nor of the Christian 
Church. As Hosea thinks of the golden calf at Bethel, the 
god of Samaria, he cries out: “The workman made it; there¬ 
fore it is not god.” And the more thoroughly and consistently 

55 Oesterley warns the Conservatives that “the study of comparative 
religion must in the future become one of the greatest dangers to the 
Christian religion or else its handmaiden” (The Evolution of the 
Messianic Idea, p. 276). The fact is that comparative religion is proving 
itself a menace just because the critics have not been content to treat 
it as the handmaiden of Christianity but have made it the mistress 
of the house and assigned to it the seat of unquestioned authority 
in religion. 



the critic carries out his attempt to remake the God of Israel 
in the likeness of the gods of the heathen, the more strongly 
will the conviction be forced upon the believing Christian 
of today that: The critic has made it; therefore it is not 

Now, if this were the first time that the Bible had ever 
been under fire, we might well tremble as we think of the 
furious battle which is raging about it. But the words which 
Beza used of the Church are equally applicable to the 
Bible which is her sacred charge. “It is an anvil that has 
worn out many hammers/' It has had its Jehoiakims and its 
Porphyrys, its Yoltaires and its Ingersolls. It has been 
disbelieved and denied and defamed, and the holy men 
who uttered its precious words have been treated as those 
of whom the world was not worthy. Yet the critics often 
speak as if this were the first time that the breath of crit¬ 
icism had been permitted to blow upon it, as if they were 
the first to dare to scrutinize it closely. This claim would 
be amusing, because it is so naive, were it not so false and 
misleading. What is new is that men who treat it as they 
do, and use the arguments and make the claims of the open 
enemies of the past should profess to be devout students of 
it, that this fiercest of all attacks upon the Word of God 
should be made from within the pale of His Church and by 
men who profess themselves His followers. And the only 
explanation which they can give of this singular phenom¬ 
enon, the only justification of their anomalous position is 
that they are endeavoring to save the Old Testament, to 
save Christianity itself by making it intelligible to the modern 
man. Now I do not wish to question this motive. I believe 
there are many who are perfectly sincere in advancing it 
and that Professor Jackson for example feels it very keenly. 
But what I do want to point out to you is this, that the 
claim of the critics that they are saving the Bible by re¬ 
constructing it. that they are striving to prevent it from 
being a stumbling-block in the way of those who are of¬ 
fended by “its discrepancies, its rigorous laws, its pitiless 


I I I 

tempers, its open treatment of sexual questions, the atroci¬ 
ties which are narrated by its histories and sanctioned by 
its laws,” is one of the most terrible indictments which 
could be brought against the morals and intelligence of 
the Christian Church and its Founder. 

What is this book which the critic is so eager to save for the 
men of this generation? We find it in our Mother’s Bible, the 
book she loved and cherished above all others. We read it, the 
Old Testament and the New, at her knee. She taught us 
to love it. Many of us are in the ministry or soon will be be¬ 
cause of our mother’s teaching and her prayers. Some of us 
have in our homes copies of the great Family Bibles which our 
forefathers used. In his “Cotter’s Saturday Night,” Robert 
Burns gives us a beautiful picture of the Bible in the family 
life of Scotland. Some of you can look back upon such 
scenes, scenes from which “old Scotia's grandeur springs.” 
It has been frequently pointed out that the King James 
Version is wrought into our very literature. Think of what 
the Bible did at the Reformation. Modern civilization is its 
hopeless debtor. Remember how the Westminister Confes¬ 
sion, our Confession of Faith, speaks of the heavenliness 
of its matter, the majesty of its style, its many incomparable 
excellencies, and its entire perfection. The great Bible Soci¬ 
eties are printing it by the hundreds of thousands, it is 
today the world’s “best seller,” the Book of books. What 
an impertinence, not to use a stronger word, for the critic 
to imagine that unless he revises it, and modernizes it, un¬ 
less he removes its “imperfections,” it must fail to appeal 
to the men of this and future generations. Is this generation 
so much nobler, so much finer fibred that it is entitled to 
stumble at “difficulties” which Christians of the past have 
altogether failed to find, 56 or have succeeded in explaining 
in a manner consistent with the high claims of the Bible, 57 

56 For instance, the requirement of infant sacrifice as taught in the 
Book of the Covenant (Exod. xxii. 29). 

57 Loisy in his terrible picture of what he calls the “Old Jahvism’’ 
brings forward this as one of many indictments of the character of 


or else have been willing to allow to wait for clearer light, 
assured that “God is his own interpreter, and He will make 
it plain.” And have the critics who are constantly raking 
over the muck and mire of what they are pleased to call 
primitive Semitic religion that they may find there among 
the ethnic religions the matchless flower of Israel’s faith, 
and in so doing have made the study of religion, even the 
religion of Israel, an unpleasant and even a painful subject, 
have they the right to tell us that they have saved it, when 
as we have seen they have made it for those who accept 
their teaching, a mass of contradictions and imperfections? 

But the ultimate fact is this. The Old Testament as we 
have it is not merely a part of our Mother’s Bible. It has 
not merely nourished the faith of our Puritan ancestors 
and of the Reformers and of the Christians of the Early 
Church. It is the Bible of Christ and His apostles. This is 
conceded by the critics. Even so radical a scholar as Comill 
admits that in the time of Christ “almost the same books 
were counted as Holy Scripture as are found in our Old 
Testament.” And another critic, Professor Rogers, tells us 
that Jesus “fed and feasted his own soul upon the Old 
Testament, whose books were to him the Scriptures.” Yet 
He did not stumble at its imperfections. He quoted from it 
frequently. He said of it as a whole: “The scripture cannot 
be broken.” He said of the Law: “Not a jot or tittle shall 
pass from the Law till all be fulfilled.” And of Moses He 
said expressly, “If ye believe not his writings, how shall ye 
believe my words?” What more serious arraignment can 

Jehovah: “He blinds or befools those on whose ruin he is set. He 
provokes the crime which he punishes” (The Religion of Israel, 
p. 105). Loisy is not the first to find difficulty in reconciling human 
freedom with divine sovereignty. But we will do well to remind our¬ 
selves that while he finds in the Lord’s dealings with Pharaoh proof 
that the Jahveh of Mosaism was positively immoral, Paul after dis¬ 
cussing the same question and referring to the same incident closes 
with the great doxology, “O the depth of the riches both of the 
wisdom and knowledge of God,” etc. The problem is not a new one. 
The question is, Which is better: Paul’s attitude and his solution or 
that of Loisy and others of the critics? 


there be of the ethics and aesthetics, of the moral elevation 
and spiritual discernment of men who call themselves Chris¬ 
tians, than the fact that they cannot accept His Bible, as 
He did, as the very Word of God? 

Professor Jackson asserts that in England all scholars 
have accepted the conclusions of the critics, and Professor 
Peake challenges the Conservatives to stand up and fight for 
the old faith, the faith of their fathers which they profess to 
believe. The challenge of the Liberals has not been unan¬ 
swered, and it is not true that there are no scholars who 
hold to the old views. The errors and inconsistencies of the 
“new knowledge” have been exposed again and again; but, 
the Church of God does sadly need men today to stand in 
the breach and defend the faith once for all committed to 
the saints. Are there not some here in this gathering, some 
among these candidates for the Christian ministry, who will 
hear the call and come up to the help of the Lord against the 
mighty? that the men of this and coming generations of 
Christians may believe and know as have the Christians 
of former generations that, as Old Testament prophet and 
New Testament apostle alike assure us, The Word of Our 
God shall stand forever ! 

Princeton. Oswald T. Allis. 

Note on "Primitive Yahwism” (cf. p. 99, supra). 

From the standpoint of the evolutionist who feels obliged to trace 
the development of the religion of Israel through henotheism and 
polytheism back to a primitive animism, analogy furnishes a strong 
argument for the view that the God of Israel must at one time have 
had, like the gods of the nations, a consort. But when we come to ex¬ 
amine the evidence which has been presented in support of this con¬ 
tention, we find that it is both meagre and unconvincing.—The “Kenite 
theory” is based solely on the O. T. record. We have no other evi¬ 
dence to connect Israel with the Kenites. Yet this record speaks ex¬ 
pressly of Jehovah as the God of the Patriarchs, not of the Kenites, and 
is absolutely silent about a ‘companion-being,’ To seek one in Ashtart 
or Ashirta solely on the analogy of other religions as Dr. Barton does 
involves, therefore, a glaring petitio principii. And Dr. Barton does not 
make his theory any the more acceptable by arguing that the Yahweh 
of the Kenites “like most other Semitic deities” was probably himself 
developed out of the primitive mother goddess.—The same sex ele- 


ment which is so particularly offensive because so contrary to the plain 
teaching of the Bible and so derogatory to the Holy One of Israel, has 
likewise been introduced into the theory of the Babylonian origin of 
the name Yahweh. The view is held by many scholars that in the proper 
name Yaum-ilu, and similar names a shorter (?) form ( Yahu ) of the 
Tetragram is to be recognized. Some scholars hold further that in 
names like Ardi-ya, of which a much less frequent form is Ardi-yaum, 
and in similar names, the same divine name is also to be indentified; 
and they take ardi-ya(um) to mean “servant of Yaum” (i.e., Yahu). 
As warrant for this rendering they cite such names as Ardi-Bel, Ardi- 
Shamash, in which the names of well known Babylonian deities are 
clearly to be recognized. But the difficulty with the acceptance of this 
conclusion lies in the very argument which is advanced in its support. 
Bel and Shamash are well-known deities. But no convincing proof has 
been produced that a god Yaum is to be found in the Babylonian Pan¬ 
theon. His existence must be inferred from such personal names as we 
have just mentioned. Is it likely that in names like Ardi-ya which are very 
frequent in Assyr.-Bab., we have the name of a practically unknown 
god? Clearly it is not. Most scholars, consequently, regard this ending 
as a diminutive or hypocoristic ending (like -y in Willy for William. 
Robby for Robert, etc.). Now it is to be noted that beside such names 
as Ardi-ya ( Ardi-yaum) there are also found, though quite rarely, 
names like Beli-yautum, in which turn seems to be the feminine end¬ 
ing ( Yautum also occurs alone a couple of times as a proper name). 
It has consequently been argued that Yautum is the feminine of Yaum. 
And since as we have seen Yaum is thought to represent Yahu, it has 
been inferred that Yautum is the original of Yahweh (e.g. by Sayce 
who disregarding Exod. iii. 14 explains Yahweh as the feminine of 
Yahu). The startling inference drawn from such extremely meagre 
evidence is, that Yahweh was originally a goddess, which later, like 
some other Semitic goddesses, was transformed into a god, because 
of the preference of some Semitic tribes for male deities. One hardly 
knows whether to be more astonished at the drastic nature of this 
inference or at the inadequacy of the foundation upon which it rests. 
If as most scholars agree -ya is a hypocoristic ending, it is not very 
difficult to account for the far less frequently occurring forms -yaum, 
and -yautum as due to the natural tendency to supply these abbreviated 
names with the same case endings etc. as are found with common nouns 
and also with many proper names. And that the abhorrent idea that 
Jehovah was originally a female and later became a male deity (Dr. 
Burney speaks of it as an “attractive explanation”!) should be seriously 
advanced on the basis of such exceedingly slight evidence illustrates 
very forcibly the spell which has been cast by the theory of naturalistic 
evolution over so much of our modern thinking Whether the name 
Jehovah (Yahweh) has been found in Babylonian, except in late in¬ 
scriptions in the names of Hebrews, is naturally a question of no little 
interest: but it does not directly concern us at present. Since the Old 


Testament makes it plain that the name was not first revealed to Moses, 
but was known to the fathers its appearance on early Babylonian docu¬ 
ments would not be strange, might indeed be expected, for we know 
that Abram came from Ur of the Chaldees. But it is far from certain 
that it has been found. Clay lists the name-element Yau as found in 
Yau-bani and several other names as “Hittite-Mitanni” ( Personal Names 
of the Cassite Period, p. 30). But Hehn who also calls attention to its 
frequent occurrence in names of this origin, yet considers Yau{m ) as 
probably representing the indefinite pronoun in Babylonian. After a 
careful consideration of the question from various angles he reaches 
the conclusion that “the Babylonian Yau owes his existence to the 
effort to find in Babylonian the Yahweh of the O. T.” ( Gottesidee, 
p. 243). Finally in view of the intricacy of the problem and the im¬ 
portant issues involved it will be well to remind ourselves that it is 
necessary to be very cautious about identifying homonyms. In an in¬ 
scription of Tiglath-Pileser, for example, Ahaz [i.e. (Jeho)ahaz] king 
of Judah is referred to as Ya-u-ha-zi king of Ya-u-da-a. Both names 
begin with Yau —but while the first clearly contains the divine name 
Jehovah the other probably does not. 


A Note on the Latin Translations of the 
Scots Confessions of 1560 and 1580-1 

It is well known that there are two quite distinct Latin trans¬ 
lations of our old Scots Confessions. Dunlop gives the Confes¬ 
sion of 1560 in Scots and Latin, side by side, the latter “according 
to Leckprevick’s Impression 1572. It was done by Mr. Patrick 
Adamson at the desire of the Kirk, and is a much better Ver¬ 
sion than that which is in the Syntagma Confessionum.” His 
closing document, Vol. II, p. 811, “is a Translation of the Na¬ 
tional Covenant as it was subscribed 1581, published at that 
time; but it came not to the Publishers’ Hands, till after the 
English was printed: It is therefore put here at the end of this 
Volume, that it may be preserved. It is said to be done by Mr. 
John Craig, who wrote the English, which was first subscribed 
by the King, the whole Council and the Court. It is a much bet¬ 
ter version than that which is in the Syntagma Confessionum " 
This verdict is endorsed in both cases, though probably without 
any independent examination, by Dr. Schaff, who prints from 

But in spite of their intrinsic merits, and their greater author¬ 
ity the versions of Adamson and Craig do not seem to have been 
in general use, even among Scottish theologians, writing in 
Latin. I find, e.g., that Dr. John Forbes, in his Irenicum quotes 
both Confessions according to the Syntagma, although a defense 
of the Five Articles of Perth must have been intended primarily 
for Scottish readers. Scholars outside of Scotland wishing to 
know something of our Confessions, would of course consult the 
Syntagma, Few such would have access to them in any other 
form. There was no representative general collection of Con¬ 
fessions before the Syntagma in 1612, nor was there any be¬ 
tween the second edition of it in 1654 and the Oxford Sylloge 
of 1804. 

The Corpus et Syntagma Confessionum Fidei etc., though by 
no means a common book, is too well knov/n for anything like 
a detailed description. A fairly complete account of it may be 
found in Schaff’s Creeds, Vol. I, p. 354, or in Niemeyer’s Col- 
lectio Confessionum, pp. vii ff. My copy, like Dr. Schaff’s, is 


ii 7 

of the second edition. Internal evidence shows that the original 
editor was Gaspard Laurent, Rector of the Academy of Geneva 
in 1600, and author among other things of a funeral oration on 
the death of Beza. See La France Protcstante, 1st Edition, Vol. 
VI, p. 432.) But there is one point which I think worth men¬ 
tioning, because of the light it sheds upon book-making in the 
seventeenth century, even though it is aside from our direct in¬ 
terest. The second Helvetic Confession is not reprinted from a 
Zurich edition of 1651, as Dr. Schaff says. The Zurich sheets 
are simply taken as they are, and bound in with the others. The 
same is done with a 1647 reprint of the Confession of Basel, 
which is really a University programme, dividing the twelve 
articles of the Confession into thirty-six propositions or ‘theses’ 
to be maintained by the three regular theological professors in 
turn in weekly disputations. This explains, in part at least, the 
somewhat erratic pagination of the whole work. 

The two Scots Confessions occupy pp. 109-128, inclusive, of 
the first division of the Syntagma. There is a confused and in¬ 
accurate paragraph concerning them, in the unpaged general in¬ 
troduction. This I translate in full, both for its intrinsic interest, 
and because it is our sole primary source of information as to 
the origin and authorship of the Latin translation, in which our 
Confessions were commonly read. 

“The Scottish Confession of Faith was written in the year 
1568, in the Scottish language only. It was subscribed by the 
King’s Most Serene Majesty, and the Nobles and Estates of the 
Realm in Parliament in the year 1580. It was translated into 
Latin by a nobleman, eminent for his piety (Nobilissimus vir 
ac pietate insignis ) with this weighty, pious and serviceable ad¬ 
monition, or observation. 

“ ‘Since, just as there is but one God and one Lord and Me¬ 
diator between God and man, Jesus Christ, so there is but one 
truth and revealed will of God, which is the basis of the True 
Faith, hence it follows necessarily that there is but one Faith, 
and all the Confessions of this True Faith, though they differ 
in expression, are yet in substance in glorious accord with each 
other. When therefore we believe with the heart unto righteous¬ 
ness, and confess with the mouth unto salvation, certainly there 
can not be in this life anything sweeter, or more beautiful than 
the consensus of the Confessions in this one Truth, Faith, Right- 


eousness and Salvation. For however many such consentient 
Confessions, of the Churches there are, there are just as many 
most weighty consentient testimonies for the Truth against error 
and falsehood. As many as by a public Confession bear testimony 
to their mutual consensus, mutually confirm each other and ex¬ 
hort to constancy in that Confession, and invite and encourage 
others to embrace the same Truth: and such consensus in the 
truth of the saints here on earth, exhibits a sort of type, and sup¬ 
plies a proof not to be lightly esteemed, of the consensus and har¬ 
mony which the saints in heaven will celebrate eternally before 
the throne of God, the Author of all Truth. The collection there¬ 
fore and arrangement in a Harmony of the Confessions of the 
Orthodox Churches is a laudable design to be approved of as 
entered upon by a sort of divine instinct. For in this way it is 
shown that distance and diversity of locality is no obstacle 
among the faithful to their conjunction and unity in the Holy 
Spirit who is always everywhere like Himself. Then again those 
placed in the light of so great a consensus, surrounded by so 
great a cloud as it were of witnesses, have reason to blush when 
they dare to recall from the dead and offer for the reception of 
others errors condemned and exploded by the consensus of the 
Churches of this our time, as well as by the orthodox Fathers of 
former ages. 

“ ‘When therefore by a sort of divine Providence the Con¬ 
fession of the Church of Scotland, (first published in the year 
of Christ 1568, which has been communicated in no language 
other than Scots, and to no Churches so far as I am aware), 
fell into my hands; and I heard the complaint that the Con¬ 
fession of the Church of Scotland was lacking in The Harmony 
of the Confessions, it seemed worth while to translate that Con¬ 
fession into the Latin language, to satisfy the wishes of the 
pious, who desired it to be inserted in the Harmony along with 
the others, or otherwise appended to it. For that Church by com¬ 
parison with many has the rare privilege which has made its 
name celebrated even abroad that, for about fifty-four years 
more or less, without schism not to speak of heresy it has pre¬ 
served and retained unity along with purity of doctrine. Of 
this unity, by the mercy of God, the main support has been that 
step by step in conjunction with the doctrine of Christ, there 
has been received also the Discipline of the Apostles, as pre- 



scribed in the Word of God; and as nearly as possible the whole 
ecclesiastical government has been administered in harmony 
therewith. In this manner all the seeds of schisms and errors 
were nipped and extirpated, as it were in the bud and germ, as 
soon as ever they were seen to sprout or germinate. May the 
Lord God in His Infinite Goodness grant the Most Serene Royal 
Majesty and all rulers of Churches, Powers which are the nurs¬ 
ing mothers of the Church, that they may perpetually conserve 
that unity and purity of doctrine in accordance with the Word 
of God! Amen.’ Thus far the most excellent translator.” 

It is evident that the Editor of the Syntagma knew nothing 
of the origin and historical circumstances of the Scottish docu¬ 
ments, except what he learned from the translator. Both wrongly 
ascribe the Confession proper to 1568, instead of 1560. Neither 
shows any clear understanding that the document subscribed in 
1580-1 is quite independent of the Confession proper. Both seem 
to regard it as a sort of appendix, added presumably when the 
‘Confessio Scoticana’ was subscribed in that year “by the King 
and the Nobles and Estates of the Realm in Parliament.” The 
National Covenant reaffirms “the trew Christian Faith and Re¬ 
ligion pleasing God and bringing salvation to man ... as mair 
particularie is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, stab- 
lished and publicly confirmed by sundrie Acts of Parliament . . . 
To the quhilk Confession and Form of Religion we willingly 
agree in our consciences in all pointis, as unto Godis undouted 
trewth and veritie, groundit only upon his written word.” But 
there was no public subscription or further reaffirmation of the 
Confession of 1560 in that year, nor have the Scots Confession 
of 1560 and the National Covenant or ‘Negative Confession’ of 
1581 ever been regarded by Church or State in Scotland as 
constituting in any sense one unified testimony to “the trew 
Christian Faith and Religion.” We are thus driven to the con¬ 
clusion that the translator drew his knowledge of the Scottish 
Confession from some non-Scottish source, where the Confes¬ 
sion of 1560 and the National Covenant of 1581 were printed 
side by side, without any further information as to their origin 
and history than what he gives us in his Latin headings; except 
something which suggested 1568 instead of 1560 as the date of 
the Confession proper. It is not at all difficult to conjecture how 
the latter error is likely to have arisen. When the Confession of 



1560 was ratified for the second time on Dec. 15, 1567, after the 
imprisonment of Queen Mary, it was incorporated in extenso in 
the ratifying act. The copy of the Confession, thus incorporated, 
would naturally be the standard copy, to which others would 
conform. In all probability the translator’s source would claim 
to give the Confession, according to the copy newly adopted by 
the Scottish Parliament. Quite likely either it, or more probably, 
as we shall see, its source, bore the date 1568. I do not suppose 
that at that time, the Scottish Parliament printed its Acts, as 
they were passed, though a standard collection of them was pub¬ 
lished by Sir John Skene, as early as 1597, and Dunlop prints 
the Scots Confession “according to the copy which is in Sir John 
Skene’s Edition of the Acts of Parliament compared with many 
other editions.” I have no bibliography of early editions of the 
Scots Confession, and I am writing some fourteen thousand 
miles from the great libraries of Scotland. But there is every 
probability that the Confession would be printed in 1568, ‘ac¬ 
cording to the copy newly ratified by the three estates of the 
Realm in Parliament.’ For one who came across some such copy 
or statement, without knowing the real history of the Con¬ 
fession, it would be the most natural thing in the world to con¬ 
clude that the Confession itself belonged to the year 1568. 

We can go further than this, however, and determine with 
almost absolute certainty the precise form in which the Scottish 
Confession “fell into the hands” of the translator. He tells us 
that it was lacking in the “Harmony of the Confessions.” The 
reference is to the once famous work, described by Dr. Schaff 
in his History of the Creeds of Christendom, p. 354, pub¬ 
lished at Geneva in 1581. But both the Scottish documents are 
found in the English translation of the Harmony, published at 
Cambridge in 1586. Now the Latin translation of the Syntagma 
and the English of the Cambridge Harmony agree in a very re¬ 
markable variant reading in the National Covenant, a variant 
found in no other ancient copy so far noted. They speak of the 
Pope’s ‘dispersed and uncertain repentance’ (dispersam atque 
incertam poenitentiam), whereas all old Scottish authorities 
read ‘despered’ and the renewed National Covenant as sub¬ 
scribed in 1638 and 1639 reads ‘desperate.’ The Scots Latin 
translation, contemporary with the original and believed to be 
by the same author, reads without any ambiguity ‘uncertain and 


12 I 

full of despair’ (incertam ac desperationis plenam). There is 
not very much difference in meaning between the two. The 
Pope’s ‘repentance,’ i.e. doctrine of penance, is ‘uncertain and 
desperate,’ because it brings no assurance of pardon or peace 
to the troubled soul, but rather leads to hopelessness and des¬ 
pair of ever being able to satisfy God. It may be called ‘dis¬ 
persed,’ because it seeks to win forgiveness by a multiplicity of 
scattered acts, instead of accepting God’s free grace in Christ, 
and finding our peace in Him. But there can be no doubt that 
“despered” is the genuine reading, and that the English editor 
of the Cambridge Harmony changed it to ‘dispersed’ either by 
a mere blunder or more probably because the Scottish word or 
spelling conveyed no meaning to him, and he thought he was 
restoring what must be the true meaning. 

We find, then, that the Latin translation of the Scottish docu¬ 
ments in the Syntagma is the work of a man ‘nobilissimus ac pie- 
tate insignis,’ who communicated it direct to the editor, so that 
wherever we meet with this version we may assume that we 
are dealing with the Syntagma. As for the date of the transla¬ 
tion, we must bring it as near 1612 as possible, because the 
Church of Scotland had already been Reformed, ‘about fifty- 
four years, more or less.’ The translator is a convinced adherent 
of the doctrine and discipline accepted in Scotland, but his 
knowledge of the History of the Church of Scotland for the 
first half century after the Reformation is of the vaguest. He 
knew the Scottish Confessions from the English translation of 
the Harmony, and he is certainly not a Scotsman. If his Latin 
is less classical than that of Adamson and Craig, he uses con¬ 
temporary theological Latin with freedom and precision. He had 
no knowledge of any other Latin translation. This much I re¬ 
gard as certain, concerning him. 

What follows I merely suggest tentatively. Is he an English 
Puritan? I scarcely think so. An English Puritan as much in¬ 
terested in the Scottish Church would be likely to know more 
of the dangers and fluctuations of fortune it had encountered, 
during the “fifty-four years, more or less” since its Reformation. 
If in the mercy of God it had escaped heresy and schism, it 
had had a hard and often seemingly losing battle to fight for the 
purity of its apostolic discipline, and was at that very time 
struggling against intruded Bishops. It seems to me that there is 



an Erastian flavor, as foreign to English Puritanism as it is to 
Scotland or Geneva, in the reference to ‘Governors of Churches,’ 
which in the context must mean Civil Authorities, and not 
Ecclesiastical. The Most Serene Royal Majesty, to whom he re¬ 
fers, must I think be looked for among the Princes of the Em¬ 
pire, where Calvinistic Doctrine was to be found in conjunction 
with a semi-Erastian Ecclesiastical Discipline. The Editor dedi¬ 
cates the Consensus Orthodoxus in Part 3 to the Elector Fred¬ 
erick (IV or just possibly V, certainly not, as Dr. Schaff says, 
doubtless by a mere oversight, Frederick III) of the Palatinate, 
whom he calls “Domino suo Clementissimo,” as if he were, or 
had been his subject. Could the reference possibly be to him? 
It seems to me more natural for the translator to refer to his 
Prince in such a connection if he were also his correspondent’s. 
But I am not sure that the title is a possible one for him. 

Dunedin, Ne-w Zealand. John Dickie. 




The Reconstruction of Religion. By Charles A. Ellwood, Ph.D., Pro¬ 
fessor of Sociology in the University of Missouri. New York: The 
Macmillan Company. 1922. 8vo. pp. xviii, 323. 

The student of religion will find this book of considerable apologetic 
value. The author reveals how strong an argument for the truth and 
necessity of natural religion may be drawn from modern social science. 
“Science alone/’ he writes (p. 63), “can never give to social values, in 
the mind of the individual, that universal and absolute character which 
they need to possess; or rather it can do so only in proportion as it trans¬ 
forms itself into religion. It is thus that social science instead of be¬ 
coming a substitute for, and displacing, religion, leads to the perception 
of its value.” 

Prof. Ellwood is in earnest for brotherly love and the spirit of co¬ 
operation in the family, between classes, in politics, and among nations. 
He shows how well grounded scientifically are Christ’s humanitarian 
principles. He sets the seal of sociology to the “religion of Jesus,” as he 
calls it. “The mystery is why the world has not accepted His (Christ’s) 
teaching. For His social principles are so plainly the only ones by which 
men can satisfactorily live together that they might just as well forget 
the law of gravitation as forget these principles” (p. 177). The book 
will take its place among the best of its kind, and will be read with profit 
by all who love mankind and desire to see the Kingdom of God become 
the reality of this world. The chapters on “The Religious Revolution,” 
“The Social Significance of Christianity,” “Our Semi-Pagan Civiliza¬ 
tion,” “Positive Christianity the Religion of Humanity,” and “The Op¬ 
portunity of the Church,” are particularly strong. 

The Christian reader will have many disappointments as he goes 
along. After reading the title, “The Reconstruction of Religion,” he 
will be no little surprised to find the author implying rather jauntily in 
the preface that he knows little and cares less about theology. The 
reader will wonder what chance for success in the reconstruction of re¬ 
ligion the man will have who thus throws away at the beginning the 
basic materials from which the reconstruction is to be made. 

The reader will be disappointed with the author’s definition of religion. 
“Religion is simply morality raised to its highest power, or universalized 
morality, while morality, in the common acceptance of the term, should 
be religion brought down to the practical, every-day relations between 
men” (p. 128). To Prof. Ellwood religion is the glorification of humanity 
rather than God. On page 183 he writes: “It would be quite as correct 
then to say that the highest term of religion is “humanity,” and that 



Christianity is “a religion of humanity.” Apparently with his approval he 
quotes at bottom of page 44 a couple of sentences from Prof. Cooley’s 
Social Progress. “The essence of religion is the expansion of the soul 
into the sense of a greater life; and the way to this is through that social 
expansion which is of the same nature. One who has developed a spirit 
of loyalty, service, and sacrifice toward a social group has only to trans¬ 
form this to a larger conception in order to have a religious spirit.” The 
‘larger conception’ means society or humanity in general. Thus love of 
man expanded is religion. The more men you like and treat like a gentle¬ 
man the more religious you are. We know some jolly good fellows at 
the club who are deeply religious on this principle. But this is, of course, 
religion with God left out. It is therefore not religion at all. It is philan¬ 
thropy, and nothing is to be gained by confounding words. Religion is 
something more than kindliness. 

He carries the glorification of man still further. “Social intelligence,” 
he writes (p. 298), “is indispensable for the success of Christian ideals, 
and, therefore, the social sciences are the natural allies of the church, 
in its work of building a Christian society. They will furnish more 
material for the effective guidance of public opinion in a Christian direc¬ 
tion than even the Bible itself. If the ministry of the church is to un¬ 
dertake the function of social leadership, it should be trained even more 
in sociology than in theology.” The author’s admirable “Enthusiasm 
for Humanity” has here carried him to the verge of absurdity. He 
would have the study of man supersede the study of God; ministers 
must become men of Man instead of men of God. Then they would in¬ 
deed be religious men. Much more: they would be Christian men, for 
“the ‘enthusiasm of humanity’ is the centre and core of Christianity” 
(P. 84). 

Of course, this unwise glorification of man has its natural effect in 
the author’s neglect to give God His due. While the author believes in 
God, his religious attitude is practically deistical. God is far away 
and has little or nothing to do in the important affairs of man. “It must 
be, however, the social sciences to which the world must look more and 
more for guidance and hence to which religion also must look” (p. x). 
His practical deism is illustrated by his idea of prayer. “All religions, 
except the very lowest, are characterized by the use of prayer, or by what 
amounts to the same thing, introspective meditation’ (p. 154). (Italics 

Prof. Ellwood’s idea of sin while modern is inadequate. “The Theo¬ 
logical conception of sin,” (p. 143), “is, that it is rebellion against God. 
To this statement there can be objection, if we remember that the service 
of God must consist in the service of humanity. In simplest terms sin is 
essentially selfishness; it is disloyalty to the claims of humanity, whether 
that humanity be our fellow beings around us or those in distant lands 
or future ages. The conception of sin in positive Christianity in other 
words will be social and humanitarian.” 

It is reiterated throughout the book that to serve men is the only way 



to serve God. For example page 162: “The only possible service of God 
must consist in the service of men—the fundamental principle, as we 
have so often reiterated, of the religion of Jesus.” To see that this 
principle of Prof. Ellwood’s is not true one need only reflect that the 
first three and the first part of the fourth commandments have no social 
implications but are purely individual. Yet to keep those fundamental 
laws is surely service of God! And in “the religion of Jesus” will be 
found the words: “The first and the great commandment is, Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God. . . . The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love 
thy neighbor as thyself.” 

There is confusion of ideas with regard to our modern civilization. 
In the chapter on “Our Semi-Pagan Civilization,” he acutely points out 
the prevalent evils of modern life and clearly reveals our semi-pagan 
point of view with power and pleasure as its chief ideals. If his analy¬ 
sis be true, it would seem to argue that the sooner such pagan civilization 
passes away the better for the world. It is therefore rather inconsistent 
with this analysis to hear our author warning on page 8 that unless 
religion keeps step with modern science civilization will vanish. Why 
not let it go? And even more bewildered are his words on page 159: 
“The solution which positive Christianity proposes for the religious 
problems of our time is simple. Let the religious leaders of our day 
grasp the full social significance of religion, drop their theological dis¬ 
putations, give religion the positive humanitarian trend which civiliza¬ 
tion demands, etc.” But why should religious leaders be so concerned 
over the demands of a semi-pagan civilization? Its behests had better 
be ignored and the higher and diviner demands of Christianity be obeyed. 

Summit, N. J. Rockwell S. Brank. 


An Introduction to the History of Christianity, A.D. 590-1314. By F. J. 
Foakes Jackson, Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and Pro¬ 
fessor of Christian Institutions in Union Theological Seminary, 
New York. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1921. 8vO', 
pp. ix, 390. 

In this Introduction Prof. Jackson undertakes, in a series of fourteen 
chapters rather loosely connected with one another, to set forth the 
salient features of the history of medieval Christianity during the seven 
centuries embraced between the reign of Gregory the Great (590-604 
A.D.) and the destruction of the Knights Templar (1314), an event that 
may appropriately be regarded as the close of the period in which the 
papacy stood at the height of its medieval power and splendor. 

The essays here grouped together—for such is really the nature of 
this Introduction —offer the reader rather a series of discussions per¬ 
taining to special phases of medieval Christianity, than a systematic and 
proportionate treatment of the subject as a whole, such as most of our 



manuals of church history' aim to give. The increased freedom of 
method thus secured has given the author abundant opportunity to en¬ 
rich and enliven his narrative with historical judgments and reflections 
that could not so advantageously have been introduced as obiter dicta 
in a treatise more closely following a logical or chronological arrange¬ 
ment of materials. On the other hand, the chapters as they stand have 
at times a bewildering mass of heterogeneous data, and a reader using 
this Introduction to get his first acquaintance with the facts will occa¬ 
sionally" be dismayed as well as puzzled by the heaping together of dis¬ 
parate elements, gathered, in some instances—for the author frequently 
harks back to the Ante-Nicene Age—from a period extending over a 
thousand years. The beginner’s difficulties will be increased by the 
fact that there is no table of contents; that there are no marginal cap¬ 
tions and only occasional subdivisions of chapters; that the Index is 
quite inadequate, omitting many of the names that are mentioned in 
the text and that might conveniently be made the point of departure by 
one wishing to use the treatise as a reference-book; and that some of 
the chapter-headings are so general—necessarily so—that they have little 
specific value as guides for the understanding of their contents, such as, 
for example, “The Pillars of the Medieval Church,” “The Church and 
the Empire,” “The Church Empire of the West,” “England.” That the 
different sections of the volume will prove to many to be of unequal 
interest and value, is quite natural, and the fact may be due to the sub¬ 
jective conditions of the reader’s mind as much as to the varying excel¬ 
lencies of the work itself; but it must be said that in many places the 
author presupposes altogether too much knowledge of the Middle Ages 
to make his discussion satisfactory to any except the student of special 
attainments in this field, while in other portions he goes into needless 
details of a technical character, or amplifies matters that might well be 
taken for granted in a treatise of this kind. 

But after all, these are mainly considerations of proportion and form, 
and whatever one may be disposed to say of such minor faults, the work 
as a whole must be regarded as admirable alike for its scholarly excel¬ 
lencies and for the skilful handling of the essential features of the nar¬ 
rative. Certainly the author has amply succeeded in realizing his mod¬ 
estly expressed purpose of giving “such an introduction to the history 
of the Middle Ages” as to make his readers “desire more knowledge of 
this important epoch in the development of mankind.” 

A conspicuous trait of Prof. Jackson’s work is his fairness in dealing 
with controverted issues, as show T n by his readiness, in the light of the 
latest researches, to revise many of the traditional estimates of medieval 
personalities and events. This is particularly true of his discussion of 
the so-called “Dark Ages”; the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals; the merits 
and defects of monasticism; the epoch-making pontificates of Gregory 
the Great, Nicholas I, Leo IX, Gregory VII, Alexander III, and Boni¬ 
face VIII; the Crusaders; the intellectual life of the Middle Ages; and 
especially the disciplinary system of the Middle Ages. Few, if any, 



will be the readers who will not feel indebted to the author for his dis¬ 
criminating judgments concerning the men and issues and institutions 
that helped to make medieval Christianity the imposing and instructive 
phenomenon it was. Some, no doubt, will regret that the theological 
activity of the period was not more adequately set forth—some of the 
doctrinal controversies are disposed of in a brief paragraph, while 
others, like that pertaining to the views of Gottschalk on predestination, 
are not even mentioned; and those who may be specially interested in 
the everyday religious life of the people will wish that such characteristic 
expressions of the medieval piety as the worship of images and relics, 
the making of pilgrimages, the ministries of the departed and the living 
saints, the elaborations of the ritual, the charms of the contemplative 
life, and the like, might have been made more prominent. But on the 
external side of the history, the narrative will often be found to be un¬ 
expectedly full and informing. The institutional life of the Church; 
her polity and her politics; her hierarchy; her schools and convents; 
her cathedrals and abbeys; her missionary and Crusading activity; her 
disciplinary and administrative work; her rivalry with, and her triumph 
over, the Empire—these are the phases of the story that are most 
adequately presented. The author is not wanting in sympathy for 
what the Catholic would regard as the best elements of the Christian 
life of the period; but at the same time he makes little effort to kindle 
the imagination of his readers or to add any emotional quality to their 
appreciation of the things dearest to the heart of the medieval Christian. 

At the close of each chapter there is a list of sources and secondary 
authorities dealing with the subject discussed. Special pains have been 
taken to include the best available works in English, whether original 
or translated; and more than enough have been given to serve as guides 
for a further study of the period. But in view of the scholarly charac¬ 
ter of this Introduction, it is rather strange to see so few references to 
the works of German specialists—in not a few instances the best mono¬ 
graphs on the subjects. 

At the close of the volume there is a useful four-page list of “Im¬ 
portant Popes,” arranged in chronological order, with brief indications 
of their historical significance. 

The style of the book is well adapted to the purpose of the author. 
Occasionally one meets with skillfully phrased comparisons and con¬ 
trasts which reveal the accurate learning and the sound judgment of 
the historical expert, as well as the delicate touch of the literary artist. 
Unfortunately, there are also evidences of careless writing and proof¬ 
reading, as in the following cases: “Just when the relations between 
Papacy were most strained” (p. 38) ; “For the Pontificate of Nicholas I 
the main authorities is” (p. 85) ; “forbid” for “forbade” (p. 138) ; “The 
Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and its principalities . . . was” (p. 154) ; 
“The crusade begun in 1218 differed from the earlier ones on the prin¬ 
cipal attack being delivered against Egypt” (p. 162) ; “Christendom 
. . . began to recede not only in the territory which it occupied in its 



details” (sc. ‘‘but” after “occupied”; p. 165); “Nothing, however, is so 
illustrative of the learning of the Middle Ages than the career of Abe¬ 
lard” (p. 179) ; “a rival, whom he burned to contend and vanquish” 
(p. 179) ; “threatened the citizens not only with the loss of happiness in 
heaven but with money on earth” (p. 250) ; “Its peculiar influence on 
France has been due to the fact that it was not merely as a residence 
of the kings or as a commercial mart that Paris became important, but 
because it had become,” etc. (p. 284) ; “Avignon, whither Clement V 
repaired in 1308 and was destined long to be the home of the Papacy, 
was,” etc. (p. 295) ; “No church gave birth to such a series of men 
eminent in more fields than that of the English in the eighth and ninth 
centuries” (p. 300) ; “The grievances were that the Popes Italian,” (sc. 
“were” before “Italian”; p. 315) ; “the principle that the people must be 
taxed with their consent of their representatives” (p. 316). 

Princeton. Frederick W. Loetscher. 

A Short History of Christian Theophagy. By Preserved Smith, Ph.D. 
Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Co., 1922. 8vo, pp. 223. Price 

Under this somewhat forbidding title, the volume before us presents 
a brief history of the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. But one does not 
need to read many pages to understand why the term “theophagy” was 
deemed specially appropriate. For the author has a thesis to defend, 
which, to use his own words, is— 

that the dogma of the sacrifice of the mass, repudiated by nearly all 
the Reformers, and the dogma of the Real Presence, repudiated by 
some of them, were in reality far more ancient than medieval schol¬ 
asticism ; that they were, in fact, the teachings of the primitive 
church, and that, pushing our inquiry ever further back, they had 
been derived by her from a pre-Christian, and from a very remote, 
antiquity. The idea of the god sacrificed to himself, that his flesh 
might be eaten by worshippers thus assured of partaking of his di¬ 
vinity, arose at the dawn of religion, was revived by the mystic cults 
of the Greeks, and from them was borrowed by Paul and implanted, 
along with the myth of the dying and rising Savior God, deep in the 
soil of the early church (p. 7). 

Our author, then, belongs to that group of historians who in recent 
years have been bringing the mystery religions of the ancient Hellenistic 
world, and especially the question of the influence of these on early 
Christian thought and life, to the fore in theological discussions. He is 
quite convinced that the eucharist of the early Church was “borrowed 
by the Christians from the older mystery religions” (p. 43) ; that “The 
account of the Last Supper is but an etiological cult story, analogous to 
the Greek myths or to the Hebrew fable of the Passover in Exodus xii, 
designed to authorize a custom otherwise established in the earliest 
community” (ibid.) ; “that the specific accounts of the passion and 
resurrection found in the Gospels emanated from Paul ’ (p. 49) > That 



the German Wrede has put us under a great debt by at last writing a 
biography of the Tarsian, showing both how it was possible psycholo¬ 
gically for Paul to evolve these myths and possible historically for him 
to foist them on the Christian church” (p. 51) ; that Paul “fabled that 
Christ had instituted the Supper” (p. 76) ; that “Transubstantiation does 
not indicate a coarser conception of the real presence than that held 
by primitive Christians, but a finer one” (p. 78) ; that “When Paul, on 
the analogy of the mystery religions, evolved from his inner conscious- 
the myth of a Savior who should die, be eaten, and rise again, he felt 
that the only explanation of the mysteries necessary was the story of 
Jesus, part of which he had heard from others, part of which came to 
him by direct revelation [and, of course, was quite untrustworthy]” 
(p. 78) ; that, in short, the Supper instituted by our Lord is only another 
form of that theophagy which “goes back to the time when man was 
just emerging from the animal” and “when the grandsons of the ape 
were accumulating their theological ideas” (p. 23L). 

The “evidence” for these assertions is such as the student of Christian 
origins has been familiar with for some time. It is presented by the 
author, almost entirely at second hand, chiefly in his first two chapters, 
entitled, respectively, “Praeparatio Evangelica” and “Paul and His 
Symmystae.” The footnotes furnish an impressive array of names of 
specialists belonging to the modern school of comparative religions, and 
of theologians who have been utilizing these data for the reconstruction 
of historic Christianity,—Murray, Dietrich, Frazer, Cumont, Bruckner, 
Reitzenstein, Reinach, Wrede, Heitmiiller, Lake, Kennedy, and the like; 
but the author’s method of utilizing this literature reveals no very 
through mastery of the issues in controversy. These alleged resem¬ 
blances between Christian and pagan ideas, rites, and institutions, will, 
of course, impress some in one way, and others in another. For our 
own part, we cannot but feel that the correspondences are often far¬ 
fetched and fanciful. Nor is it at all strange that specifically in this mat¬ 
ter of sacramental eating and drinking there should be similarities of the 
kind that are made so much of by some of these investigators. Eating 
and drinking are such familiar and vital processes that religions that 
have, or pretend to have, any real influence on life have naturally found 
it expedient to give these acts a symbolic significance in their ritualistic 
observances. But to prove that Paul, and, following him, the whole 
early Church, borrowed from pagan cults alike the doctrine and the 
administration of the Holy Supper, is a rather formidable undertaking; 
and neither Dr. Smith nor those of his authorities with whom we have 
familiarized ourselves seem to have established this alleged dependence. 
It is not enough to say that this or that detail of a heathen rite may “re¬ 
mind one” of a bit of superstitious practice that may have grown up in the 
medieval Church in connection with the idolatry of the mass; that wine 
was often used in pagan cults as a symbol of blood; that as “the followers 
of Bacchus were called Bacchi and Bacchae,” so “the worshippers of 
Jesus ‘put on Christ’” (p. 36) ; that as in Japan a sacred meal of rice 



“was preceded by the administration of a purgative or emetic, the idea 
being to preserve the sacred food from contact with profane nourish¬ 
ment,” so the “Catholics take the eucharist fasting”; or that conceptions 
inseparable from the very idea of a Supreme Being with whom one can 
enter into personal relationship should color the language of religious 
devotion. Then, too, the dates of these alleged similarities in the 
religious observances are treated in rather arbitrary fashion, and the 
difficulties involved in these chronological considerations are either 
ignored or quite too lightly set aside. For some of these analogies the 
reader is carried, within the limits of a few pages, now to the distant 
Homeric era, now to the classic age of Hellas, now to the post-Pauline 
period of the culminating Mithraic influences, and now to contemporary 
heathenism in Australia or Africa. In some instances—this is especially 
true of the phenomenon of Gnostic syncretism in the second century— 
it is more likely that the Christian practice affected pagan usage, than 
that the reverse was the case. Certainly the Pauline literature as a whole 
hardly makes the impression that its author was as much interested in 
ritualistic ceremonies as he was in principles of truth and morality, or 
that he regarded his doctrine of the cross—of “a dying and rising 
Savior God”—as a specially attractive message to the carnal men of his 

The remaining chapters of the book bear the titles: (III) Transub- 
stantiation; (IV) Consubstantiation; (V) Luther; (VI) Carlstadt; 
(VII) Zwingli and Oecolampadius; (VIII) Schwenckfeld; (X) Bucer; 
(X) Melanchthon; (XI) Calvin; (XII) The British Reformers; 
(XIII) The Last Phase. In this chronological order the author sketches 
the early medieval and the subsequent development of Christian thought 
concerning the Lord’s Supper. Most of this work is done with pre¬ 
cision and fairness, and rests, unlike that of the first chapters, on a study 
of the sources themselves. Particularly full and instructive, as might 
have been expected from this distinguished authority on Luther, is the 
presentation of the variations in this Reformer’s eucharistic views, and 
of the controversies in which he engaged on this subject with Carlstadt, 
with Schwenckfeld, with the Zwinglians, and with some of the mediating 
Lutherans. The Swiss Reformers, with their symbolic interpretation 
of the words of the institution of the Supper, appeal most to our author, 
but his judgment as to the merits of the debate as a whole may be in¬ 
ferred from this characteristic reflection on the Marburg Colloquy: 
“Here it becomes more clear than ever—not indeed to those present, 
but to us—that the reason for these interminable beatings about the bush 
lay in the fact that both parties started from a false premise, namely 
that reason and Scripture could be reconciled” (p. 159). 

As for Calvin, it must be acknowledged that he receives less justice, 
and more ridicule, than he deserves. No doubt, some of his phrases reveal 
an unstable equilibrium between the Zwinglian and Lutheran extremes, 
but Dr. Smith seems to have needless difficulties in trying to follow the 
Reformer’s obvious and valid distinction, fundamental in his whole 



doctrine of the Supper, between the real, yet spiritual, and specially 
efficacious presence of Christ in the sacrament, and a merely corporeal 
presence. Hence the following misrepresentation of Calvin’s teaching— 
a caricature that reflects more on the historian’s impartiality and accu¬ 
racy, than on the great Genevan’s theological acumen: “In all this, is 
evident not the greater consistency and rationality of Calvin’s theory, but 
the greater cleverness of his prestidigitation. The body is needed as a 
pledge of salvation. Very well, it is there; if you are elect, eat it. But 
suppose a mouse or a sinner gobbles up the body? Impossible; for it is 
not there. Presto, it is gone, only to return in a flash the moment Cal¬ 
vin’s own jaws close on the wafer” (p. 196). 

The brief closing chapter calls attention to the fact that present-day 
discussions of the Lord’s Supper simply reproduce the views of the past, 
all the way from transubstantiation to that pure rationalism which in 
these last years has proved to its own satisfaction the dependence of 
Paul and Paulinism on the mystery religions of his time, and which the 
author now commends to us on the score of its having put an end to 
“outworn survivals from a primeval state” (p. 218). 

Enough has been said to make it plain that this History must be used 
with caution. It presents a mass of data that cannot fail to stimulate 
interest in the delicate and difficult theological problem with which they 
deal. But the deductions drawn from these facts seem to need many a 
revision in detail, and a thorough reconstruction so far as the first two 
chapters and the main thesis are concerned—the alleged derivation of 
the eucharist from the pagan mystery religions. 

In conclusion, mention is made, and ought to be made, of the exten¬ 
sive (seven-page) bibliography. The list is specially rich in reference to 
the literature in support of the main contention of the treatise. One 
misses, on the other hand, such standard monographs as those of Eb- 
rard, Kahnis, Dieckhoff, Riickert, and Schmid, and one cannot but feel 
that here, too, the author’s preferences and prejudices have made it hard 
for him to be fair. 

Princeton. Frederick W. Loetscher. 

Zur Geschichte der Christlichen Heilsgewisshcit von Augustin bis sur 
Hochscholastik. Von Gustaf Ljunggren, Lizentiat der Theologie 
in Uppsala. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 1920. Pages 8 
and 328. Price (paper) $1.00. 

This scholarly study traces the Christian idea of the assurance of 
salvation from Augustine down to and including the Scholastic theo¬ 
logians of the Franciscan and Dominican schools, and it is the author’s 
intention to continue his research on to Luther. It has been a laborious 
task, covering several years. Almost the entire first half of the book 
is devoted to Augustine. Every theological avenue into which this vast 
subject branches is assiduously pursued, and we have Augustine’s views 
on faith, hope, love, personality, sin, predestination, perseverance, Christ, 
grace, church, sacraments, truth, moralism, mysticism, intellectualism, 



righteousness, peace, conscience, perfectionism, humility, etc. Special¬ 
ists in Augustine will doubtless find Dr. Ljunggren’s portrayal of Augus¬ 
tine substantially Augustinian. 

The investigation makes plain that, according to Augustine, assurance 
of salvation is no achievement of the human personality, but results 
from an inner experience of the love of God in Christ (pp. 125, 137). It 
is grounded not in us but in God (pp. 94-95, 150). His view is guarded 
on the one hand from the self-righteousness of moralism, and on the 
other from the pantheizing tendencies of mysticism. Augustine never 
loses himself in a subjectivistic, unhistorical mysticism (p. 114). This 
assurance has both its objective and subjective factors (p. 99). Great 
stress is laid upon the fact of the Christian conscience, which is called 
the sedes Dei, and is a specifically religious organ realizing the presence 
of God, and not merely an ethical function of the soul (pp. 86, 101-105). 
The good, that is, the Christian conscience is the sign of the presence 
of God in the soul. “He who has a good conscience is tranquil, and 
tranquillity is the very' sabbath of the heart” (pp. 112, 120, note 1). 
Righteousness is of course necessary: “nullus beatus nisi justus” (pp. 
80-81). Mercy and righteousness are ever united, and our joy is not over 
ourselves but over God's work in us (pp. 89, 131). Assurance ( certi - 
tudo) is never complete in this life, and a perfect security' is impossible. 
Yet there is no blessedness without assurance (pp. 92-93. Cf. pp. 77, 79). 
There is no perfection here, and a feeling of imperfection is always a 
part of a progressive sanctification (pp. 82, 134-135). Nor is this grace 
of assurance mediated mechanically through the sacraments, but is a 
personal relation of trust to God (p. 154). While careful to absolve 
Augustine from any Pelagian tendency, still the author thinks that both 
moralism and mysticism lurk in the background, so that Augustine is 
scarcely able to reach a thoroughly evangelical conception of assurance 

(pp. 69, 145). 

The above glance is barely sufficient to indicate something of the 
wealth of material which the author has drawn from the writings of 
Augustine. His citations, too, are very' apt, and establish his point in 
each instance. These quotations alone provide a mental stimulus of 
high homiletic value. Let the modern minister cultivate more zealously 
the companionship of St. Augustine. Few Christian scholars of any 
age have had a richer and profounder spiritual vision, and fewer still 
have possessed his remarkable power of expression. There is no dull 
pulpit, no poverty of incisive thought where this writer leads the way. 
Think of the depths of such priceless utterances as the following: “Faith 
is believing what you do not yet see: the reward of this faith is seeing 
what you believe” (p. 7). “By this law of works God says, ‘Do what I 
command’: by the law of faith we say to God, ‘Grant what Thou com- 
mandest’” (p. 8). “Only faith prays.” “Love, then do what you want” 
(pp. 10, 11). “If one should lapse from faith, he necessarily lapses 
from love; for he cannot love what he does not believe ’ (p. 32). “Hope 
cannot exist without love. Hence neither is love without hope, nor 



hope without love, nor both without faith” (p. 34). “What He did is 
indeed more than what He promised. What did He do? He died for 
thee. What did He promise? That thou shouldst live with Him” 
(p. 62). “He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, 
He is prayed to by us as our God. . . . What is more sure than our 
felicity when He prays for us who gives what He prays for? For 
Christ is God and man: He prays as man, as God He gives that for 
which He prays” (p. 63). “He began to be in us when He called us” 
(p. 85). “We are with Christ in heaven through hope, He is with us 
on earth through love” (p. 88). A man is truly happy “not if he has 
what he loves, but if he loves what ought to be loved” (p. 99). “Among 
all the tribulations of the human soul there is no greater tribulation 
than the self-consciousness of sin” (pp. 101-102). “Love, and He draws 
nigh; love, and He abides” (p. 107). “When you would flee from Him, 
flee to Him. Flee to Him in confession, not from Him in hiding” (p. 
no). “Lord, if without Thee nothing, in Thee everything. . . . He can 
do much and everything without us, we nothing without Him” (p. 137, 
note 1). “The law was given that grace might be sought after, grace 
was given that the law might be fulfilled” (p. 141). “You have a 
majesty to whom you may pray, you have a humanity which prays for 
you” (p. 58). In such fertile passages the writings of Augustine abound, 
and the present study has gathered up many of them. 

After Augustine Pope Gregory the Great is studied. With him fear 
is such a dominant factor that no one can know whether he is elect 
(pp. ISZ-JS!?)- “In the history of the assurance of salvation Gregory is 
before all the apostle of fear and uncertainty” (p. 160). Then come 
Anselm, Peter Lombard, and Hugo, who are more moderate than Gre¬ 
gory, but far removed from Augustine. Bernhard’s piety is experiential. 
Humility is one of the signs of grace. There is also the witness of the 
Holy Spirit and a good conscience. Bernhard approaches Luther (pp. 
165 - 173 ). 

Over one hundred pages (174-279) are given to the older Franciscan 
School, notably Alexander Halesius and Bonaventura. Moralism and 
mysticism develop. Mediaeval thought is semi-pelagian (p. 232). As¬ 
surance depends on personal merit, and even then we are not sure. 

The fourth and last section of the book takes up the Aristotelian 
Dominican Scholastics, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. With 
the former mere hope is meritorious, and conscience is the organ of 
hope. Yet a real assurance is impossible (pp. 283-286). In Aquinas 
predestination is conditioned by foreknowledge of human merit, grace 
is enclosed in sacraments of which the priest is the dispenser. The con¬ 
fessional is emphasized, and assurance become a matter of ritual dictated 
by a rigid ecclesiasticism. The book closes with a good summary of the 
results reached (pp. 324-326). 

A number of typist’s errors will be found, especially in the setting up 
of the Latin quotations. Two od these mistakes are corrected at the 
end of the Preface, following the table of contents. A brief but care- 

: 34 


fully chosen bibliography concludes this painstaking study of one of 
the paramount themes in Christian theology. 

Hillsboro, Ohio. Benjamin F. Paist, Jr. 

Pascal. Von D. Karl Bornhausen, Professor in Marburg [jetzt Pro¬ 
fessor in Breslau], Basel, 1920. Druck und Verlag von Friedrich 
Reinhardt. Pages xi, 286. Price, paper, Frs. 7.50 (Schweizer . 

The subject of this book (dedicated to the Theological Faculty of the 
University of Heidelberg) is just “Pascal.” Even the title-page gives 
no further description. Dr. Bornhausen, however, does state, on the 
closing page of his preface, that his aim has been to exhibit the remark¬ 
able religious spirit of Pascal as shown in his literary activity. Pascal’s 
life is reviewed up to the death of his father in 1651, then his struggles 
between the world and the new birth, 1651-1655, and finally “the new 
life,” 1655-1662. We see the age in which Pascal lived, his youth and 
“first” conversion, his early scientific and religious views, his relations 
with Port Royal and Jansenism, his “second” conversion, his ardent 
avowal of Jansenism and final rejection of it, his associations with Des¬ 
cartes, De Mere, Arnauld, Nicole, De Saci, Domat, and his correspon¬ 
dence with Mile. De Roannez. In numerous places the whole text of 
Pascal’s essay or letter is given. 

Pascal entered Port Royal, but, Dr. Bornhausen observes, he was never 
a real confidant of it, his critical spirit setting him in a much wider circle 
(p. 154). Yet he was and remained a son of the Church, even venerating 
the miraculous power of relics (pp. 217-219, 222. Cf. p. 233, note 4). 
He represents a certain union of humanistic and Christian culture (pp. 
259-260), and in his position that Pope and Church had condemned 
the truth (referring to the condemnation of Jansenism) he approaches 
the free spirit of the Reformation (pp. 273-274. Cf. p. 147). His Pro¬ 
vincial Letters Dr. Bornhausen calls the master-work of French 
hterature of that time, and says, Pascal plays a leading though mediating 
role in the social and moral life of the France of 1650 (p. 6). “In Pascal 
France still possessed a younger prophet who went back to the funda¬ 
mental principles of primitive Christendom” (pp. 147-148). He never 
became a theologian, merely an attentive reader and critic of theological 
controversies (p. 215). Some of Pascal’s statements might appear to 
divorce reason and emotion, as when he speaks of the irrationality of 
religion and of Christian faith, but Dr. Bornhausen does not think 
Pascal can be accused of any dualism between head and heart (pp. 249- 
251. Cf. p. 87, note 1, and p. 211). 

Remembering that Pascal lived only a little over thirty-nine years, his 
career was a singularly busy and attractive one. Despite his broken 
health and ascetic tendencies, his achievements in mathematics, science, 
philosophy, and religion will keep fresh the world’s memory of him. His 
Provincial Letters and Thoughts will be readable literature for every 
age, and his prayers, his profound culture, and his gentle bearing under 



all circumstances, place him in the first rank of Christian scholars. Dr. 
Bornhausen writes of this great man out of a thorough knowledge of 
him and a sane appreciation of the religious conditions of the day in 
which he lived. So much has been written on Pascal, but we think Dr. 
Bornhausen’s study has served to bring him down to date, and in fact 
present him in a slightly different angle. We seem to walk in a gallery 
in which the old pictures of this great man have been touched up, dusted, 
changed about, and better lights thrown upon them. And this without 
any strained effort to make Pascal other than the wonderful man that 
he was. 

Hillsboro, Ohio. Benjamin F. Paist, Jr. 

Monastic Life in the Middle Ages. By A. Cardinal Gas2UEt. Lon¬ 
don: Bell & Co. 1922. 

This is a volume of essays which have appeared at various times in 
different reviews and as addresses before various societies. The earliest 
was first published in the Dublin Review in 1883. The last is a paper 
printed in Rome in 1919. In the preface Cardinal Gasquet states that 
the collection was made at the request of many who had been interested 
in the various portions and desired to have them brought together. 

The title for the volume gives only a very general idea of the contents. 
Certain articles deal with exactly this subject, as for example, “Abbot 
Wallingford,” “The Making of St. Alban’s Shrine,” “An Abbot’s House¬ 
hold Account Book,” “How our Fathers were taught in Catholic Days,” 
“Books and Book-making in early Chronicles and Accounts,” “A Day 
with the Abbot of St. Augustine’s Canterbury, in the Sixteenth Century,” 
and “The English Premonstratensians.” But in these the times are very 
often later than what we ordinarily call the “Middle Ages.” Indeed the 
author’s interest seems to lie in that period just preceding the Reforma¬ 
tion and one feels in reading the articles that the author’s glance is to¬ 
wards the Reformation. In some cases direct reference is made to the 
charges which Protestant historians have brought against ecclesiastical 
and social conditions prior to the Reformation. Furthermore, the scene 
of almost all of the chapters is laid in England. We have, in short, a 
picturesque account of English religious life at the eve of the Reforma¬ 
tion, and running back of it. 

Cardinal Gasquet is a Benedictine monk who has spent a great part of 
his life in researches of this kind, and the book makes its claim to notice 
on the basis of the original sources with which the author has worked. 
Most of the articles were written to offset some historical judgment 
which had been passed on some Roman Catholic by such men as Froude, 
for example, whose estimate of Abbot Wallingford is criticised by 

The outstanding items in these essays are, first, the description of the 
catechetical tract “Dives et Pauper,” a document which, Cardinal Gas¬ 
quet says, would certainly be attributed to Lollard influence were it not 
for the thoroughly Roman atmosphere which pervades it. By this, he 
means that “Dives et Pauper” emphasizes the place of morality and the 

x 36 


underlying obligations of religion and sets forth a “Protestant” view of 
ceremonial. The implication is that there was plenty of such instruc¬ 
tion before the Reformation, and that the Church was not sunk in 
idolatry and superstition. 

The chapter on Adrian IV and the “bull” which gave Ireland to Eng¬ 
land presents the interesting theory that what was either erroneously, but 
more haply maliciously called the bull of donation from Adrian IV to 
Henry II in 1155 was really the somewhat altered substance of a letter 
denying the right of conquest in Ireland to Louis VII of France, in 

Polydorex Vergil’s history of the times of Henry VII, which is such 
a valuable source for that period gains new interest from the “rough 
draft” manuscript edition which Cardinal Gasquet discovered in the 
library of the Dukes of Urbino, which was written out by Veterani, 
their famous librarian, at the dictation of Vergil, before the death of 
Cardinal Woolsey, and then altered afterwards. The famous estimate 
of Woolsey which has come into history from this source, was an 
addendum to the original. 

In 1895 Gasquet wrote an Introduction to a reprint of Montalembert’s 
Monks of the West, which appears in this book as “A Sketch of Mon¬ 
astic Constitutional History.” In this introduction the probable influence 
of the monastic rule upon European Constitutional development is 
stressed. The particular connections are not shown. The argument, 
such as it is, may be reproduced by a few lines from the article itself. 
“It is undeniable that the monastic order is a great fact in the history 
of European civilization” (p. 198). “In view of this broad fact, it is 
impossible to doubt that the monastic system must possess some strange 
power, some special gift of influencing bodies of men” (p. 198). “(The 
monk’s) power for good lay not in his words chiefly, but in the example 
of his monastic life. This is the secret of the conversion of European 
peoples” (p. 199).” This example was that of a social life which had 
as its end not the individual monk, but the order, the social framework 
of the individual. This first and persuasive object lesson in Christian 
social civilization was, thinks Cardinal Gasquet, a principal force in 
moulding European constitutional government. And among these mon¬ 
astic influences, that of St. Benedict was preeminent. 

The last paper, confessedly an addition, deals with the relations of 
England and the Holy See during the period 1792-1806. It is a selection 
from the correspondence of Sir John Coxe Hippisley, a semi-official 
resident in Rome, and Mgr. Erskine, a Papal Envoy to the Court of 
George III. The visit of this prelate was ostensibly to his Scotch rela¬ 
tives, but he prolonged it to stay in London and handle various com¬ 
munications between the Papal Secretary of State and the British For¬ 
eign Office in the interest of keeping the Pope neutral and friendly to 

Lockport, N. Y. 

Stewart M. Robinson. 



Spiritism and the Cult of the Dead in Antiquity. By Lewis Bayles 
Paton, Nettleton Professor of Old Testament Exegesis and Criti¬ 
cism, Hartford Theological Seminary. The Macmillan Company. 
Pp. 307. 

A book with “spiritism” as part of its title is today sure of a reading 
public favorably inclined toward it, and presumably, also, sure of a 
fairly ready sale. While lay interest in spiritism, psychic research and 
abnormal psychology is perhaps not as keen as during the war, there 
remains a wide audience for any speaker on these themes. Reading 
the title of this book hurriedly, one is apt to get the impression that it 
will be found to be a collection and analysis of the phenomena of spirit¬ 
ism in antiquity. Students of psychic research, however, who open the 
book with any such pleasant anticipation, are doomed to disappointment. 
Looking at the title more carefully, one sees that the theme is not merely 
spiritism, but the cult of the dead in antiquity; and before turning many 
pages one discovers further (as might well have been guessed) that the 
author’s interest is not in the phenomena of spiritism but in the theology 
of ghost worship and its supposed evolution into higher forms of faith. 
Dr. Paton is a theologian, and his book is almost exclusively a theological 
study of the cult of the dead ( alias ancestor worship) and its influence 
on religion. 

Spiritism and ancestor worship, while of course intimately related to 
each other, are in reality two distinct subjects; they require quite dif¬ 
ferent methods and interests, and perhaps quite different talents on the 
part of those who would study them. The cult of the dead is a recog¬ 
nized branch of the very modern science of comparative religion. 
The extreme evolutionary position, which conceives religion as a natural 
growth of human speculations, has long ago credited animism and an¬ 
cestor worship together with being the moving first causes of Judaism 
and Christianity no less than Shintoism and spiritism proper. It is the 
old Spencerian crudity of men’s fears and ignorances producing men’s 
faiths and ideals. The cult of the dead, in this extreme form, might 
well be retitled the cult of the dead faith; for those who expound it 
are little curious about the cult itself, its origins and phenomena, but 
greatly concerned with it as a means whereby they hope to desuper- 
naturalize Christianity. 

Spiritism, on the other hand, (unless one confine that term to the 
small and modern group of mystics who are endeavoring, none too suc¬ 
cessfully, to manufacture a religion), is not merely a belief in or 
theory about disembodied spirits and persisting consciousness after death, 
but it is a definite belief in an intercommunication between the living 
and the dead. In itself it is of no more religious a quality (though al¬ 
ways connected with religion and therefore repeatedly condemned in the 
O. T.), than would be a belief that Earth-men and Mars-men may and do 
exchange messages. Spiritism has to do exclusively with what we may 
call psychic phenomena; its method is wholly empirical; and in all prob¬ 
ability it will in the future bear the same relationship to the science of the 



sub-conscious that astrology bears to astronomy. In dealing with spirit¬ 
ism in antiquity one expects from scholarship an exhaustive collection 
and analysis of the records of the past. Students of psychic phenomena 
have been waiting for a generation and more, hopefully expectant of a 
thorough and scholarly treatment of all the material which archaeology, 
Neo-Platonism and the Mysteries, no less than classical literature, offer. 
That some scholar will one day do for antiquity what the Society for 
Psychic Research has done for the closing years of the 19th century is 
a foregone conclusion. Dr. Paton, however, has by no means done this. 
He is apparently not at all concerned with the phenomena of spiritism, 
but with ancestor worship and its theoretical contributions to religion. 
One may be even more definite and say that his book seems to be written 
wholly from the point of view of the comparative religionist, with the 
unannounced purpose of sketching the evolution of Christianity from 
primitive cults of the dead. 

That animism and ancestor worship are at the roots of most if not all 
natural religions, few students would care to deny. But that revealed 
religion and natural religions spring from the same sources is a pre¬ 
supposition without the slightest warrant in fact; yet that presupposition 
gives color to the whole book. 

There are three premises here: (1) all religion is an evolutionary 
process; (2) spiritistic or psychic phenomena existed in primitive times; 
(3) these phenomena have been an active factor in the evolution of re¬ 
religion. Very little space is given to the recording of phenomena, or 
even to their classification. The author’s interest, one must repeat, is 
wholly theological, and the aim of the book seems to be merely an attempt 
to show that spiritualism is an evolution from spiritism. 

There is nothing original in such an argument. “The cult of the dead in 
Israel,” derivable from earlier and cruder Babylonian cults, and issuing in 
the religion of Jesus, has been expounded many times in recent years. If 
Dr. Paton’s argument may claim originality it is rather in the disguise 
with which it is offered—as a study in spiritism. Very early in the book 
one comes upon asides, bracketed references to the Old Testament, foot¬ 
notes comparing the cult of the dead in other religions to supposed 
“parallels” in the Bible. One is led, as it were, gently, through Chinese 
ancestor worship and mediumship to the “sons of the prophets,” through 
Indo-European ancestral cults, Egyptian spirit worship, Sumerian and 
Babylonian myths, to “early Hebrew conceptions of the dead”; and 
thence by a more open road to a study of the development of Israel’s 

The conservative reader will find little to his taste in Dr. Paton’s book. 
The lay-reader, seeking for information on spiritism in antiquity, will 
be rather awed by the amount of scholarship embalmed within such 
narrow compass; but he will reach the inevitable conclusion that the 
scholarship itself embalms little of real value to the student of spiritism. 
It is like a target well riddled about the edges, but with the white center 

Delaware City, Delaware. 

Robert Claiborne Pitzer. 




Dictionary of Bible Proper Names. Compiled by Cyrus Alvin Potts. 

The Abingdon Press. Crown 8vo., pp. 279. 

The sub-title of this book reads as follows: “Every proper name in the 
Old and New Testaments arranged in alphabetical order; syllabified 
and accented; vowel sounds diacritically marked; definitions given in 
Latin and English.” There are two principal criticisms which must be 
made, both of which are suggested by the word “every” in the sub-title. 

The first criticism is that the compiler is guilty of exaggeration. This 
appears from the following statement of the preface: “It may be af¬ 
firmed and easily proven, that scriptural names were not arbitrarily 
chosen but selected with the idea of defining the relation of the bearer 
to God and for the purpose of expressing some important general truth.” 
If the word "some” or even “many” had been inserted before the word 
“scriptural” in the above sentence, it would not be open to question. As 
it stands it is positively untrue and is especially to be deplored because 
it greatly misrepresents an important and precious truth. For there are 
significant names in the Bible. No one denies this. There are some that 
are expressly declared to be such, chief among which is the name that 
is above every name: “Thou shah call his name Jesus, for he shall save 
his people from their sins.” On the other hand the names Joseph and 
Mary illustrate the difficulty Mr. Potts must overcome in the attempt to 
establish his thesis. Joseph (meaning “may he add”) is at once recognized 
as a significant name. It is the name given by Rachel to her first born son, 
when the Lord took away her reproach and led her to hope for further 
increase. Whether the birth of this later Joseph reflects in any sense the 
circumstances attending the birth of the son of Rachel, i.e. whether as 
applied to him it was significant in the original sense, we cannot say. 
It may be accounted for in several different ways. On the other hand 
the name Mary (Miriam) is of uncertain etymology and there is no 
reason for regarding it as significant in any stricter sense than that of 
general appropriateness. And even that much is not certain. If it means 
“comely” (literally, “fat,)” we would regard it as appropriate for we 
are accustomed to think of Mary as beautiful. If it means “obstinacy, 
rebellion” it would seem to be singularly inappropriate to one who called 
herself “the handmaid of the Lord.” If it means “bitterness” it would 
be both appropriate and the reverse, according to our application of it to 
Mary’s life of peculiar joy and unique sorrow. If it means “mistress," 
the name would seem to be Aramaic, which is of course possible. We 
have no way off determining its true meaning with certainty. 

There are many other names regarding which the candid student will 
feel constrained to admit that the strict etymological significance (this 
is the only one open to us in many instances, and it is often very un¬ 
certain) probably or certainly did not figure prominently if at all. Thus 
in the Old Testament we find a number of ‘animal names’: Deborah 
{bee), Dorcas {gazelle), Rachel {ewe), etc. In these names there is 
indeed a certain appropriateness which accounts for their use. The 



sweetness of the honey bee, the grace and beauty of the gazelle, the 
fruitfulness and gentleness of the ewe lamb,—the names are both pic¬ 
turesque and parabolic. But it may be questioned whether in most 
instances the significance of such a name was prominent in the mind 
of the one who gave it or of the one who bore it, much more prominent 
than in the case of similar names today. The homiletic value of such 
names is certainly problematical. And when Mr. Potts tells us that 
Deborah (bee) is used “in the sense of orderly motion,” we feel that 
he has failed even to grasp the primary signification of the name. The 
attempt to find a significant meaning has often led to forced interpreta¬ 
tion and absurdity. 

The second criticism which must be made of this Dictionary is that 
it is unscholarly. It is hardly too much to say that there is no more 
difficult problem for the trained philologist than the study of proper 
names. There are very many names, even among those which like the 
name of Mary are in current use, the original significance of which is 
either doubtful or utterly unknown. There are names of which we 
can not even say with certainty what language they come from. Yet 
we are surprised to find that although this work is declared to be “the 
result of extended research” and to contain “definitions selected from 
accredited authorities,” there is not a single name but is given at least 
one meaning, not a single one the meaning of which is said to be un¬ 
certain or unknown. This, to anyone at all conversant with the great 
amount of work which has been done on Biblical and other ancient 
proper names in recent years, speaks volumes for the unscholarly nature 
of the work. Thus “Mary” is defined as follows: “Amaritudo —Bitter¬ 
ness; myrrh of the sea:—name of six Christian women, Matt, i :i6." 
Neither of the definitions is probable,—the second is extremely improb¬ 
able—, and the reader is left in ignorance of the fact that some at least 
of the “accredited authorities” whom the compiler of this work might 
have been expected to consult do not even attempt to give an interpreta¬ 
tion of the name. It cannot of course be expected that a little “glossary” 
should go into lengthy discussions of names whose meaning is uncertain. 
But certainly one who ventures to make the following extreme state¬ 
ment regarding the Biblical proper names: “To Bible students who do 
their own thinking, who delve beneath the surface and follow truth 
wherever it may lead, there is nothing more helpful than a familiarity 
with the literal meaning of proper names in the Bible. We can no more 
fathom the profound depths of the Scriptures without a knowledge of 
the literal meaning of these names than we can solve mathematical 
problems without a knowledge of numerical values. The value of the 
full understanding of the original significance of the proper names in 
the Bible is beyond any possible computation and measurement, and 
the literal meaning of these names is the keynote of this understanding” 
might be expected to exercise the greatest possible care to avoid mislead¬ 
ing his readers by furnishing them with etymologies which are open to 

Mr. Potts seems to be laboring under the unfortunate misapprehension 



that all the Old Testament names are to be treated as Hebrew or Ar¬ 
amaic. The name Sennacherib, for example, is defined thus: “ Hostis 

vastitas —Devastation by an enemy; bush of destruction:—an Assyrian 
king, 2 Kings 18:13.” Confining curselves to the second definition, we 
observe that it is one which was widely current up to about fifty 
years ago. It is a Hebrew etymology ( san from s e n,eh, the word for 
“bush” in Exod. 3; cherib from a well-known root) and a forced and 
unnatural one at that. But as long as Assyrian was a lost language there 
was some excuse for it. There is no excuse for it now. Thousands 
of Assyrian inscriptions have been published and deciphered; and Assy¬ 
rian proper names have been made a matter of special study by a number 
of able scholars. It has been known for a generation or more that Sen¬ 
nacherib means “O Sin (the Moon-god), multiply brethren,” or, “Sin 
has multiplied brethren,” and that it is a name analogous to “Joseph.” 
The “definitions” of Esarhaddon, Tiglath-pileser, Amraphel, etc. show 
the same deplorable ignorance of the results of the work of two genera¬ 
tions of scholars in the field of Assyrian research. In like manner 
“Pharaoh” {"Liber esse —To be free; sun-king:—general name of 
Egyptian kings, Gen. 12:15”) shows that Mr. Potts is equally ignorant 
of the labors of the Egyptologists in general and of the controversy 
which has raged over the question of the bearing of the use of this word 
in the Pentateuch upon the date and credibility of that document. 

Mr. Potts not only gives us a definition or meaning of every proper 
name in the Bible. He frequently gives us more than one, yet without 
doing anything to help the reader to decide which of them is the more or 
the most probable, or even indicating that the meanings may be mutually 
exclusive. He defines “Babel” thus: “Confusio —Confusion; mingling; 
chaos; the gate of God:—a city in the plain of Shinar [babylon], 
Gen. 10:10.” The readers for whom this book has been prepared can 
hardly be expected to know that the first three meanings (they ap¬ 
parently are but slight variations of the same idea) are all based upon 
the old and widely accepted view which found expression in the AV 
margin that in Gen. 11:9 we have an exact etymology of the name 
Babel; while the fourth gives the meaning of the name favored by 
Assyriological research. These two meanings are mutually exclusive. 
They cannot both be right. And they should not both be given without 
indicating this in some way. Briefly stated the facts are these. Ac¬ 
cording to the cuneiform inscriptions Babel means “gate of God” ( bab 
ili). There can be no question as to this. That the Babel of the cunei¬ 
form inscriptions is to be identified with the Babel of Gen. 11 cannot 
be demonstrated, but seems to be quite generally accepted. It is cer¬ 
tainly possible. If this supposition be correct the following explanation 
will accord with all the facts. Gen. 11 speaks of a signal judgment upon 
a city called Babel. The city gate, as the most public place, was in the 
ancient Orient the place of judgment. We may, therefore, render vs. 9 
as follows: “Therefore is the name of it called Babel {bab ili —gate of 
God) because the Lord did there confound ( balal ) the language of all 
the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the 



face of all the earth.” It seems plain that we have here a pun upon the 
similarity in sound between the words Babel and balal due to the asso¬ 
ciation of ideas between the place ( bab ) where the judgment was pro¬ 
nounced by God (i/i. Heb. el) and the nature of the judgment (balal, to 
confound) which was there pronounced. There are other examples of 
such puns in the Old Testament, the name Joseph for example. The 
old view that Babel meant “confusion” was always a doubtful one from 
the standpoint of etymology; and we may be glad that modern Assy- 
riology has supplied us with a better one, an interpretation which is in 
full accord with the Old Testament narrative. But it is most unfortunate 
that Mr. Potts should give both meanings as if there were no choice 
between them and leave his readers to use either or both according to 
personal preference. One who attaches the significance to Bible names 
that he does should guard against such misuse. For it is difficult to see 
how anyone could help making egregious blunders in the use of this 
book unless he carefully tested each meaning offered him before making 
use of it. 

It is deplorable that one who judging from the preface holds a high 
and reverent view of the Scriptures and might therefore be classed as 
3 conservative, should prepare a book for the use of Bible students which 
is so hopelessly “medieval” in its scholarship as to lend color to the claim 
of the Critics that the Conservatives are ignorant and behind the times, 
have made no use of the results of modern research, and do not there¬ 
fore deserve to be classed as scholars. Those who love the Bible and 
treasure it as the Word of God are for this very reason under the solemn 
obligation to see to it that their defense and interpretation are worthy 
of their estimate of it, lest their labor redound to its shame and not to 
its glory. 

Princeton. Oswald T. Allis. 

Hebrew Life and Times. By Harold B. Hunting. The Abingdon Press. 

8vo., pp. 188. 1921. 

This book is one of the “Abingdon Religious Education Texts” of 
which David G. Downey is the General Editor, and it belongs specifically 
to the “Week-Day School Series” edited by George Herbert Betts. 

The aim of the writer is stated to be to reconstruct “the story of the 
Hebrew people as an account of Hebrew shepherds, farmers, and such 
like: what oppressions they endured; how they were delivered; and 
above all what ideals of righteousness and truth and mercy they cher¬ 
ished, and how they came to think and feel about God.” The viewpoint 
is “critical.” The dictionary of the Bible which is recommended to the 
reader is the one-volume Hastings; and Mr. Hunting writes with that 
confidence in the “assured results” which is characteristic of his school. 
Thus he tells us regarding the words “A Psalm of David” which are 
used so frequently in the titles of the Psalms, “These words, in the 
original Hebrew, mean ‘dedicated to David’” (p. 141). The Christian 
Church has believed for centuries that the “of” (expressed in Hebrew 
by the lamedh auctoris) denotes authorship. It took over this belief 



from the Jewish Church which held it on the authority of the “original 
Hebrew.” All this is waved aside and ignored, as completely as if a 
“Davidic tradition” regarding the Psalms had never been. Yet the 
Higher Critic accuses the Conservative of dogmatism! 

Princeton. Oswald T. Allis. 


The Religion and Theology of Paul. By W. Morgan, D.D., Professor 
of Systematic Theology and Apologetics in Queen’s Theological 
College, Kingston, Canada. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. 1917. 8vo. 
pp. viii, 270. 

The author of this work felt that a full and systematic treatment of 
the Pauline theology from the standpoint of the newer knowledge, was 
still a desideratum, and wrote the present volume to supply this lack. 
He treats successively of the Redeemer, His work in redemption, and 
the new life in salvation. The whole is preceded by a sketch of Paul’s 
world-view. The apostle’s outlook is said to be “at bottom that of 
Jewish Apocalyptic.” As such it is characterized by a certain pessimism 
and by the transference of religious interest from the present to the 
future. The apostle departs from the Jewish scheme, however, when 
“anterior to the redemption of the last days of which alone Apocalyptic 
knows (he) introduces another redemption, which, indeed, is the de¬ 
cisive one.” Moreover some of his characteristic categories of thought 
carry us outside of the circle of Apocalyptic and may, in certain in¬ 
stances, be traced to Hellenistic influence. 

The writer points out that in Paul the living Christ overshadows the 
historical Jesus. It would almost seem as if the apostle cut loose from 
the historical basis of the Gospels; but appearances deceive. At the 
same time it is true that he has a very lofty conception of Jesus Christ. 
He regards him as the messianic Judge and Saviour and as a proper 
object of worship. He looks upon him as divine and yet subordinate 
to God, thus carefully guarding monotheism. He finds in Christ God’s 
intermediary in both creation and redemption. In the incarnation Christ 
assumed human flesh, and though “as regards his inner being” he re¬ 
mained “divine and sinless,” yet this flesh was “sinful flesh” (pp. 66, 67). 
It was only the assumption of sinful flesh that enabled him to condemn 
sin in the flesh. 

Redemption according to Paul is, as the author sees it, threefold. 
First of all, it is deliverance from the dominion of the evil spirits. For 
us, he says, this is mythology, but in the apostle’s day the dread of evil 
spirits was very real, and deliverance from them was a real redemption. 
Secondly, it is deliverance from the Law. Through His vicarious death 
Christ met the claims of the law and released us from its bondage. The 
law, we are told, does not come in consideration here as an abstract 
principle of justice, but as a historical institution. The death of Christ 



was not necessary to make forgiveness possible, but simply to square the 
account of the old historical institution, and thus to prepare the way for 
the economy of grace in which no atonement is necessary (p. 89). Fin¬ 
ally, it is redemption from the tyranny of sin. This, too, is effected by 
the death of Christ, by which He buys men out of the power of sin or 
inflicts on sin a mortal wound. The author regards Paul’s way of look¬ 
ing at this as “realistic, one might say, mythological.” In the doctrine 
of redemption everything turns on Christ’s death and resurrection, a 
view that is in part due to the spiritual insight of the apostle, and in 
part to Hellenistic influences (p. 107). 

The writer points out that Paul developed his doctrine of salvation 
through faith in opposition to the Judaizers. Faith establishes a per¬ 
sonal and moral relation, and leads to a mystical union. Believers are 
in Christ. Here we touch upon Paul’s mysticism. In explanation of this 
the author refers to the mysticism of the Mystery cults and of the Her¬ 
metic writings, to which as he sees it, Paul was largely indebted. He is 
quite willing to grant, however, that the apostle transformed it in large 
measure (p. 143). Paul also makes justification contingent on faith, 
but not in the sense that God imputes to believers the righteousness of 
Christ. His doctrine of justification is simply that God forgives sin, 
and that forgiveness cannot be earned, but only appropriated in faith. 
The author regards the doctrine of justification by faith with its corol- 
late, the doctrine of redemption from the law, as distinctly Paul’s own 

After discussing the apostle’s conception of the moral renewal of 
believers, the spiritual gifts that were manifest among the early Chris¬ 
tians, and the ethical requirements of the Christian life, he calls atten¬ 
tion to Paul’s view of the Church and of the Sacraments. Fundamentally, 
to Paul, the Church “is not the institution of salvation, but the sum of 
the saved” (p. 199). He does not describe it as “the Kingdom,” but as 
“the body of Christ” (p. 202). The apostle evidently does not believe 
that the name of Jesus was used superstitiously as a spell in baptism, 
nor that the Spirit was communicated through this material means. He 
regards baptism primarily as a rite of regeneration: believers are buried 
with Christ in baptism and arise with him in newness of life. Yet it 
does not appear that he looks upon baptism as the effective agent in 
the production of this experience. The author sees no reason to doubt 
the Pauline tradition respecting the Lord’s Supper, which is in substan¬ 
tial agreement with that of Mark; and finds that the apostle regards 
the Supper as a memorial of Christ’s sacrificial death. There is no 
foundation, says he, for the present tendency “to read into Paul the 
crudest sacramentarianism.” The sacraments were not for him “the 
Christian mysteries, through which the Christian salvation is mediated.” 

The last three chapters of the work are devoted to the Consummation, 
Philosophy of History, and Paul and Jesus. 

The book of Dr. Morgan is a well written and stimulating work. It 
is evidently based on a thorough study of the Epistles of Paul and the 



related literature, and contains the judicious expression of a well-bal- 
lanced mind. Extremes are carefully avoided. In tracing genetically 
the origin of the great Pauline ideas the author does not lose sight of 
the Old Testament. While he allows for the influence of Apocalyptic, 
he carefully avoids the extreme position of Schweitzer. And though he 
traces to Hellenism the Christ-cult, the name Kyrios as applied to Christ, 
the conception of Christ as Mediator of creation and redemption, the 
doctrine of a death and resurrection with Christ, and the idea of an 
indwelling God, he is very conservative in his statements and even claims 
that “Paul borrowed nothing that he did not transform’’ (p. 267). 

But even so the book contains several statements that may well be 
challenged. For instance, it is confidently asserted that the book of 
Daniel was written during the Maccabean struggle (p. 10) ; that Paul 
expected the parousia during his lifetime (p. 14) ; that “flesh” in Paul 
is “the material living substance of the human body,” (p. 16)), in which 
Paul finds the spring and principle of sin (p. 17) ; that the worship of 
the historical Jesus could not have arisen on the soil of a strict mono¬ 
theism (i.e. among the Jews) (p. 47) ; that the title Kyrios, as applied to 
Christ, was borrowed from the cult-gods of Hellenism (p. 49); that Paul 
safeguarded monotheism by insisting on Christ’s subordination to the 
Father and never calling Him God (pp. 53, 54) ; that Christ assumed sin¬ 
ful flesh (pp. 66, 67) ; that Paul’s belief in demons really belongs to the 
region of mythology (p. 72) ; that the apostle’s words never imply that 
God could not forgive sin until a full propitiation had been provided, 
(p. 88) ; that “the hopeless inadequacy of the apostle’s forensic and myth¬ 
ological categories is largely responsible for the embarrassed character 
of his argument in Rom. 6,” (p. 105) ; that “Paul never speaks of God as 
imputing to the believer the righteousness of Christ” (p. 149) etc. 

In some instances Dr. Morgan shows himself too ready to discredit 
the explicit statements of Scripture. Little weight is attached to the 
book of Acts (p. 51) ; and the “rabbinical proof of the Law’s merely pro¬ 
visional character, drawn from the fact that in its promulgation it was 
posterior to the promise of grace given to Abraham” (Gal. 3:15), is 
brushed aside as unimportant (p. 82). He finds that in some parts of 
Rom. 9-11 the sovereignty of God is maintained at the expense of His 
moral attributes, but warns against taking them too seriously, for “side 
by side with them we find others, which show that the Apostle has been 
carried by his logic and his polemic farther than his conscience dares 
follow” (pp. 248, 249). 

The greatest objection, however, to the work is that the author, not¬ 
withstanding his careful discrimination and his generally conservative 
conclusions, allows himself to be controlled by the religious-historical 
method to such a degree that he leaves little room for the operation of 
the divine factor. The attempt to explain the origin of the teachings 
of Paul in a perfectly natural manner results in crowding out the 
supernatural. The author is perfectly frank in admitting this, when 
he says: “An historical treatment of the Pauline constructions does not 



prejudice the question of their validity. But one thing it does; it puts 
us in a position of freedom with regard to them. It is no longer possible 
to look upon them as truths supernaturally communicated, the proper 
attitude to which is one of unquestioning submission. It is no longer 
possible to treat them as the ultimate data of our faith. . . As a theolo¬ 
gical system Paulinism, notwithstanding its wealth of pregnant thoughts, 
belongs to a past that cannot be revived. Its Jewish and Hellenistic 
categories are not ours, cannot really be appropriated by us” (pp. 368, 

Any method that necessarily results in such a conception of the Bible, 
is of extremely doubtful value, and cannot be the method of those who 
take their stand squarely on the Bible as God’s supernatural revelation. 
It endangers not only the supernatural character of that revelation, but 
also the finality of the Christian religion. 

Grand Rapids, Mich. L. Berkhof. 


Preaching in London, A Diary of Anglo-American Friendship. By 
Joseph Fort Newtox, Litt.D., D.D. Geo. H. Doran Co. 1922. pp. 
140. $1.50 net. 

Dr. Newton is a writer of rare charm. His style has a precision, a 
warmth, a color, which are delightful. In this volume he appears at his 
best. The contrast drawn between English and American modes of 
thought and life is full of interest “In intellectual average and moral 
passion there is little difference between English and American preach¬ 
ers, but the emphasis is different. The English preacher seeks to educate 
and edify his people in the fundamentals of their faith and duty; the 
American preacher is more intent upon the application of religion to 
the affairs of the moment ... It has been said that the distinctive note 
of the American pulpit is vitality; of the English pulpit, serenity (p. 52). 
He asserts that “there is more freedom of thought in England than in 
America. Liberty, in fact, means a different thing in England from what 
it does with us. In England it signifies the right to think, feel, and act 
differently from other people; with us it is the right to develop according 
to a standardized attitude of thought and conduct . . . We think 
in a kind of lockstep movement . . . An average American knows ten 
times as many people as an average Englishman, and talks ten times 
as much. We are gregarious; we gossip; and because everyone knows the 
affairs of everyone else, we are afraid of one another” (p.55). 

Of special interest are the character sketches drawn by the hand of a 
master. Whether we agree with them or not, we cannot fail to admire the 
skillful and briliant treatment of the subject. Lloyd George appears again 
and again upon the scene. On one occasion when he addressed an aud¬ 
ience unsympathetic, if not hostile, in ten minutes he had them “stand¬ 
ing and throwing up their hats.” “It was pure magic. I felt the force 
of it. But after it was over and I had time to think it through, I found 


r 47 

that he had said almost nothing. . . . Like Roosevelt, he knows how to 
dramatise what he does, making himself the hero of the story; and it 
is so skillfully done that few see that the hero is also the showman" 
(p. 85). He is declared to be “merely an opportunist, without any prin¬ 
ciples of policy—except to retain power—feeling his way to get all he 
can” (p. no). And finally, “for Mr. Lloyd George personally I have the 
greatest admiration alike for his character and his genius. . . . Recently 
he has seemed to return to his true character” (p. 132). Here is a vivid 
picture of the inconsistencies of a many-sided character, which have 
often troubled his friends and furnished weapons to his enemies. Of 
Bernard Shaw he says, “he is physically finicky, almost oldmaidish, 
not only shy and embarrassed off the platform, but awkward and blush¬ 
ing like a schoolgirl. When you meet him he is quietly modest, full of 
quick wisdom, generous, but suggesting lavender, and China tea served 
in dainty old-world cups. The most garrulous man in Europe before the 
war, he was smitten dumb by the insanity of it . . . Who can describe 
the fineness, the fatuousness, the futility of him!” (p. 93). Chesterton 
“is a prophet of normal human nature, his uproarious faith in God is 
a tonic in days like these. If Dickens was the greatest American ever born 
in England, Chesterton is the best thing England has given us since 
Dickens. One loves him for his strength, his sanity, his divine joyous¬ 
ness.” Of H. G. Wells he says, “Just now he is all aglow with his dis¬ 
covery of God, ‘the happy God of the heart,’ to use his words. He looked 
surprised when I suggested that he had found what the Bible meant 
by the Holy Spirit. . . . What if this interesting man—whose genius is 
like a magic mirror reflecting what is in the minds of men before they 
are aware of it themselves—so long a member of the Sect of Seekers, 
should join the Fellowship of the Finders” (p. 57). Chesterton’s remark 
is worth quoting here: “The Christ of Wells is tidy; the real Christ is 
titanic” (p. 79). 

This is a striking characterization of Forsyth: “I have read everything 
that Dr. Forsyth has written about the Cross, and yet I have no idea 
what he means by it. As was said of Newman, his single sentences are 
lucid, often luminous . . . but the total result is a fog . . . Just when 
one expects Dr. Forsyth to extricate his thought, he loses himself in the 
mystic void of Evangelical emotion” (p. 55). Dr. John Hutton of Glas¬ 
gow is pronounced “the greatest preacher in Britain” (p. 80). Of Dr. 
Jowett he writes: “one enjoys his musical voice, his exquisite elocution, 
his mastery of the art of illustration, and his fastidious style ; but the sub¬ 
stance of his sermons is incredibly thin . . . His method is to take a 
single idea—large or small—and turn it over and over, like a gem . . . 
on the ground that one idea is all that the average audience is equal to 
. . . His forte is personal religious experience of a mild evangelical 
type . . . But for the typical man of modern mind . . . Dr. Jowett has 
no message. However, we must not expect everything from any one ser¬ 
vant of God, and the painter is needed as well as the prophet” (p. 95). 
He heard Sir Oliver Lodge lecture for more than an hour on the struc¬ 
ture of the Atom, and he held his audience in breathless interest. “As 



a work of art, the lecture was a rare treat. If only the man of the pul¬ 
pit could deal with the great themes of faith . . . with the same sim¬ 
plicity and lucidity, how different it would be” (p. 136). Mrs. Asquith 
“is lightning and fragrance all mixed up with a smile, and the lightning 
never strikes twice in the same place” (p. 137). 

Words of high appreciation are spoken of President Wilson. “What¬ 
ever his faults at home—his errors of judgment or his limitations of 
temperament—in his world-vision he saw straight; and he made the 
only proposal looking forward to a common mind organized in the ser¬ 
vice of the common good ... If our people at home had only known 
the sinister agencies with which he had to contend—how all the mil¬ 
itarists of Europe were mobilized against him at Paris—they would see 
that his achievement, while falling below his ideal, as all mortal achieve¬ 
ments do, was nothing short of stupendous” (p. 137). Under date of 
Nov. 24 1918, he writes, in view of the prevailing spirit of the time, 
“Two things are as plain as if they were written on the wall. First, the 
President is defeated before he sails; and second, if the war is won, the 
peace is lost” (p. no). 

For three and a half years Dr. Newton served as pastor of City 
Temple Church, and in the light of his experience he declares that the 
minister of that congregation “needs not only the faith of a saint and 
the patience of Job, but the skin of a rhinoceros” (p. 40 note). His 
own ministry there he describes as “a triumph from the beginning” 
(P- 139). 

The review might be extended indefinitely, for every page of the book 
provokes quotation. 

The greatest of all war books is said to be the Dynast of Thomas 
Hardy, which depicts the struggles and sufferings of the Era of Napol¬ 
eon. We may fitly close with the message of the last sermon of Dr. New¬ 
ton in the City Temple: “When humanity sees what has been the Eternal 
Purpose from the beginning, and the far-off divine event, to which the 
whole creation moves; the last word of history will be a grand Amen, 
a shout of praise, the final note of the great world-song” (p. 138). 

Princeton. J. Ritchie Smith. 

Ten Lessons in Personal Evangelism. By Rev. Joseph P. PIicks, A.M. 
With a foreword by Rev. Mark A. Matthews, D.D., LL.D. George 
H. Doran Co. 1922. pp. 89. 

The lessons are simple, even elementary, in substance, and the style 
is rather crude. But many good suggestions are made, and they are sup¬ 
ported by copious citation of Scripture. The book may be used with 
profit in training classes for personal work in leading others to Christ. 
It is by no means invariably true that “Personal work is not difficult. 
It is easy” (p. 28). Many will testify from their own experience that it 
is often hard. What is there well worth doing that is always easy? 

Princeton. J- Ritchie Smith. 



The Simple Gospel. By Rev. H. S. Brewster. Macmillan Co. 1922. 
pp. viii, 200. 

The Simple Gospel here set forth is not the Gospel of redeeming grace 
but the Gospel of social progress, drawn from the Sermon on the Mount. 
The industrial and political conditions of our modern civilization are 
vigorously, even vehemently, attacked, and much that is said regarding 
them is shamefully true. A great deal may be said to justify the author’s 
contention that “the most characteristic modern law has as a basic prin¬ 
ciple the supremacy of property over manhood” (p. 18). He illustrates 
the point by citing three decisions of the Supreme Court of the United 
States: “The Dred Scott decision in favor of chattel slavery, the de¬ 
cision against the Income Tax, and the one against the Federal Child 
Labor Law” (pp. 17, 18). The world is still far from the democracy 
of the Kingdom of God. 

Jesus' doctrine of non-resistance is literally interpreted and rigorously 
applied to nations and to men. His teaching is placed in sharp contrast 
with what is termed the typical American point of view as set forth by 
President Roosevelt. 

The book is decidedly interesting as the work of a man of strong con¬ 
victions and earnest and devout spirit. Christ is presented as the only 
hope of the world. One of the chief defects of the volume is that it 
deals only with the social aspects of the Gospel, and gives little attention 
to the personal relation of men to Christ. Indeed the care of the individ¬ 
ual soul is distinctly deprecated. “It is said that Charles Kingsley, on 
being asked by a narrow Evangelical if his soul were saved, replied 
that he had forgotten that he had a soul; he was so lost in a great cause 
that little cares had disapppeared naturally; and that is the condition 
which Jesus urges upon his followers” (p. 138). To reckon personal 
salvation among the little cares of life is far removed from the teaching 
of Jesus. 

Another defect is the one-sided representation of the conditions of 
modern life. There is much that is evil, repugnant to the teaching of 
our Lord. But the picture is not all dark, and there should be a larger 
and more generous recognition of the progress that has been made in 
various directions. It is difficult to follow the author in the assertion 
that “the history of England, for example, is dominated by religious 
motives” (109). That religious motives have played a large part in 
English history, as in modern history generally, is true; that they 
“dominate” is by no means clear. 

Princeton. J. Ritchie Smith. 

The Ministry as a Life Work . By Rev. Robert Lee Webb, S.T.M. Cor¬ 
responding Secretary, The Northern Baptist Education Society. 
Macmillan Co. 1922. pp. 96. 

The book is well written and interesting, reverent in spirit and judi¬ 
cious in counsel. The course of thought is indicated by the titles of the 
chapters: The Problem of the Ministry; the Discouragement to the 
Ministry; the Call to the Ministry; the Candidate for the Ministry; The 
Training for the Ministry; The Opportunity for the Ministry; The 



Attractions of the Ministry; the Rewards of the Ministry; The Per¬ 
manency of the Ministry. Little that is fresh or striking could be ex¬ 
pected on such well worn themes, and there is nothing here that has 
not often been said before. But it is of advantage to the church to have 
attention called to familiar truths which are highly important but are 
easily forgotten. 

Princeton. J. Ritchie Smith. 

Biederwolfs Evangelistic Sermons. By William Edward Biederwolf. 

Glad Tidings Publishing Co. 

The Sermons deal with the great doctrines of The Deity of Christ; 
The Incarnation of Christ; The Atonement of Christ; The Resurrection 
of Christ; The Second Coming of Christ; Repentance; Belief; New 
Birth; Confession; The Unpardonable Sin; Hell, Heaven. The truth 
is presented with clearness, fervor, and power. The sermons are argu¬ 
mentative in form, and the reasoning is usually sound and convincing. 
The style is unnecessarily coarse at times, and the preacher seems to 
go out of his way, in search of expressions which jar or shock the 
reader. If they were effective in speaking, they are offensive on the 
printed page. 

The volume like every other has its weaknesses. The argument for 
the Virgin Birth is not convincing at all points. It cannot be said that 
Jesus could not have been born without sin in the ordinary course of 
generation. That Jesus entered into human life by the conception of 
the Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary is clearly attested and must 
be firmly held, but to affrm that this was the only possible way is to go 
beyond what it is written. It is enough that it was God’s chosen way, 
and therefore the best way. The Letter of Publius Lentulus describing 
the appearance of Christ is cited side by side with Tacitus, as if it were 
of equal historical value (p. 56). It is interesting to read that “the death 
warrant of Jesus was found by the French army written on a brass 
plate,” but we are not told when or where (p. 56). 

The premillennial view of the return of Christ is maintained in the 
usual manner. We read that “if any believe and are saved after He 
comes, they’ll never belong to the Bride of Christ or be a member of 
this glorious household in the sense that you will if you accept Him 
now. The one who accepts Him now will be one of the most favored 
beings in the universe of God” (p. 99). For this no Scripture warrant 
is given or can be given. The notion of an inner circle of this kind is 
foreign to all New Testament teaching. There are differences hereafter 
as here, but they are based upon character and service, and are not 
chronological but personal. The argument for the premillennial view 
drawn from the slow progress of the church in the world is not convinc¬ 
ing. Why may there not be at any time an outpouring of the Spirit under 
the present dispensation which shall accomplish the work of centuries 
in a year? The statement that the premillennial view is held by nearly 
all missionaries and evangelists, the vast majority of church leaders, 
and the majority of exegetes and commentators, will not of course go 
unchallenged. It should not be taught that baptism is necessary to sal- 



vation (p. 187). The figures given on p. 101 and on p. 103 regarding 
the proportion of those who come to Christ in middle life do not agree. 

It may be said in general that the truth might be more effective if 
it were presented in a more winning and persuasive manner. The con¬ 
troversial and polemic spirit prevails throughout, and the gentler tones 
of the Gospel are too seldom heard. 

Princeton. J. Ritchie Smith. 

The House God Meant. By George M. Luccock, Pastor of the College 
Church, Wooster, Ohio. The Westminster Press. 1922. pp. 205. $1.25 

The thought and sentiment of the book are admirable, and are present¬ 
ed in an attractive style. The teaching regarding the home is thoroughly 
Scriptural, and the counsel given is therefore sound and sensible. Il¬ 
lustrations are drawn largely from actual experience, and are frequent, 
illuminating and impressive. No better book could be placed in the hands 
of those who are about to set out on the great adventure of making for 
themselves a home. 

Princeton. J. Ritchie Smith. 

Homiletics, or The Theory of Preaching. By Joseph Gowan, author of 
Preaching and Preachers, The Conscience, etc. London: Elliot 
Stock. 1922. pp. xii, 407. 

The volume is concerned almost exclusively with what we may call 
the mechanics of preaching, rules and methods, while the themes and 
the inspiring motives receive scant attention. Christ and Jesus and the 
Holy Spirit do not appear in the comprehensive index, covering more 
than fourteen pages, and are rarely named in the text. The method 
is treated at length, but the message which is the heart and soul of 
preaching hardly finds a place. Fourteen pages are given to the Moral 
and Spiritual Preparation for Preaching, while seventy-three are given 
to Reading, seventy-seven to Originality and Plagiarism, and one hundred 
thirty-six, over one third of the volume, to illustrations. Subjects ap¬ 
pear to be treated in the reverse order of their importance. The dis¬ 
cussion is at times drawn out to wearisome detail, with frequent 
repetition of thought and superfluity of examples and illustrations. Such 
important topics as the different kinds of sermons and expository 
preaching are neglected. Much excellent advice is given, but little that 
is new or striking. 

It is by no means certain, as the author assures us, that “When Moody 
and Spurgeon are forgotten, Beecher and Bourdaloue will still be read 
and admired’’ (p. 19). In the list of books essential to the preacher on 
pages 27 and 30 the most important of all, the Concordance, is omitted. 
Judicious counsel is given regarding the use of sermon skeletons and 
homiletic helps. The book that undertakes to do the minister’s work for 
him should be avoided. Twenty-five pages are taken up with various 
methods of “collecting materials for future use” (105-129). Just judg¬ 
ment is pronounced upon prevalent forms of church advertising, and 



two illustrations are given: “How a man sinned by having his hair cut”; 
“How to stop a mad bull” (p. 157); Milton is far too lightly esteemed 
(P 332). 

The author informs us in the preface that most of his book on Preach¬ 
ing and Preachers is reproduced in this book; otherwise we might hope 
that the earlier volume treated of the substance, as this volume treats of 
the manner of preaching. 

Princeton. J. Ritchie Smith. 

The House of the Lord’s Prayer. By Amos R. Wells, Litt.D., LL.D., 
Philadelphia. The Presbyterian Press. Paper, i2mo. pp. 70. 
Price 40c postpaid. 

In this exposition of the Lord’s Prayer the writer forms the mental 
picture of a house and imagines himself passing from room to room 
as he reviews the successive clauses of the prayer. He finds the en¬ 
trance in the phrase “Our Father who art in heaven.” He designates as 
the fireplace the phrase “hallowed be thy name.” The windows are 
pictured by the petition “thy kingdom come,” and the remaining petitions 
of the prayer are designated as the living room, the dining room, the 
bed-room, and the kitchen and the library. 

Princeton. Charles R. Erdman. 

When God and Man Meet. By Rev. William J. Young, D.D., Pro¬ 
fessor of Missions at Emory University. New York: George H. 
Doran Company. Cloth, i2mo. pp. 275. Price $1.50 net. 

These are the MacDowell Lectures for 1921, delivered before the 
Scaritt Bible and Training School, Kansas City. They constitute an 
earnest endeavor to discuss helpfully one of the most common of Chris¬ 
tian exercises, at the same time one of the most mysterious human ex¬ 
periences, namely, the worship of God. The lecturer deals with none 
of the psychological or metaphysical aspects of the subject. His treat¬ 
ment is simple and popular, with a tendency to be discursive, even prolix. 
However, the discussion can not fail to remind one of the need of effort 
in case one would “practice the presence of God,” nor can it fail to 
stimulate one to seek in private and in public to receive the spiritual 
benefits which accrue from hours of sincere worship. 

The search for God is defined as being “the supreme quest of the 
soul,” and the time of worship is therefore set forth in the sub-title of 
this book as being “The Supreme Hour of the Supreme Quest of the 

The first lecture accordingly deals with “The Quest and the Hour.” 
The second lecture describes “The Mutual Surrender” involved in wor¬ 
ship, the “surrender of God to us" and the “surrender of ourselves to 

Chapter three deals with “The Hindrances to Worship” which are 
set forth in an expansion of the phrases from Saint John, “the lust of 
the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” The fourth lecture 
intimates that the habit of worshipping God everywhere and of seeing 


I 53 

Him in all His works of nature and of providence must be cultivated, 
but that, at the same time, true worship will be stimulated by the ob¬ 
servance of “The Appointed Hours and The Appointed Places.” 

“The Joys of Worship” are set forth in the fifth lecture; and, in the 
last, the discussion is brought to a practical climax by the consideration 
of the truth that real worship of God will stimulate one to the service 
of man, and thus the lecturer treats “The Call to Special Service in the 
Hours of Worship.” 

Princeton. Charles R. Erdman. 

How to Make the Church Go. By William H. Leach. New York: 
George H. Doran Company. Cloth. i2mo. pp. 128. Price $1.50 

This is a handbook of methods of work in a modern church. It deals 
with the executive side of the task of the minister. The author insists 
that he does not seek to invent new work but to set forth principles which 
will secure success for the minister as an executive. As the writer in¬ 
dicates in his sub-title, he has prepared “a desk manual for the every 
day use of the modern minister executive.” He approaches the subject 
from the psychological and practical point of view. He deals with 
“the forces which move men,” such as self-interest, the desire of recog¬ 
nition, love of ceremony, comradeship, the constraining love of Christ, 
etc. He describes a properly equipped church office. He indicates the 
proper relations between the minister and his official boards. He dis¬ 
cusses the organization of committees. He indicates the necessity of 
having a definite working program for each year. He shows how to 
properly conduct a financial campaign and indicates methods of church 
advertising and of securing the best volunteer help. The treatment is 
brief but will be of interest to the modern pastor. 

Princeton. Charles R. Erdman. 

The Churches Allied for Common Tasks. Report of the Third Quad- 
rennium of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in Amer¬ 
ica, 1916-1920. Board. Crown 8vo. pp. 49. 

Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America. Annual Report 
for 1921. Paper. Crown 8vo. pp. 264. 

These reports edited by Samuel McCrea Cavert contain a complete 
compendium of all the work which has been accomplished by the Federal 
Council during the years indicated. They show the significant place 
which the Council has held in the church life of America. 

Princeton. Charles R. Erdman. 

That Ye May Believe. By David Keppel. New York: Methodist Book 
Concern. Cloth. i6mo. pp. 86. Price 60 cents net. 

In this little booklet the writer gives a brief but reverent glance at 
the successive chapters of the Fourth Gospel, and points out some tes¬ 
timony which each one bears to the divine person of Christ, and thus 
shows how, in this respect, the author of the Gospel was accomplishing 
the purpose which he clearly sets forth in the statement: “These things 



are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, 
and that believing ye may have life through his name.” 

Princeton. Charles R. Erdman. 

Jesus and What He Said. By the Rev. Arthur S. Burrows. Boston. 

The Pilgrim Press. Cloth. Pp. 92. Gilt side title and shelf back. 

Price $2.00 postpaid. 

This is not a commentary nor an exposition nor a life of Christ, but, 
as the sub-title indicates, “a new Bible analysis.” It consists solely of 
an arrangement of Bible texts and references. In the first part of the 
book on each page in a central column the writer places the texts re¬ 
ferring to the life of Jesus and in parallel columns, on one side the refer¬ 
ences to Old Testament illustrations or predictions, and on the other 
side illustrative quotations from the writings of the Apostles. 

In the second part of the book the writer follows the same method in 
dealing with the words or teachings of our Lord. 

The third part of the book consists of a “Doctrinal and General Index” 
which refers to all the various subjects outlined in the previous parts 
ol the book. This is a work which indicates great patience, careful re¬ 
search and a desire to help all who love the study of the Bible. 

Princeton. Charles R. Erdman. 


American Church Monthly, New York, October: Latta Griswold, 
The House of Baal; Thomas P. Prout, A Little Journey into Practical 
Psychology; Frederick S. Arnold, Low Churchmanship; Gilbert Pem- 
ber, Miracle and Law; Fleming James, Use of God as Saviour. The 
Same, November: Thomas J. Hardy, A Barren and Dry Land; This 
Church: An Appeal; A. Parker Curtiss, The Religion of St. Benedict; 
William C. Seitz, Are the Saints in Heaven?; Proper Disposal of the 
Christian Dead. The Same, December: J. G. H. Barry, Giovanni Pa- 
pini—the Story of Christ; Frederick S. Arnold, The Creeds and Kant; 
Cecil Roberts, Mgr. Barnes on Anglican Orders; Hamilton Schuyler, 
Other Sheep not of this Fold; Fleming James, Four Uses of God by 
Men of the Bible. 

Anglican Theological Review, New York, October: R. M. Wenley, 
Friedrich von Hiigel; S. A. B. Mercer, Mernephtah’s Israel and the 
Exodus; A. Haire Foster, Pronunciation of Greek in New Testament 
Times; B. S. Easton, Critical Note—Matthew 16: 17-19. 

Biblical Review, New York, October: Miles H. Krumbine, What the 
Church has a Right to Expect from Youth; Adolf Deissmann, Treas¬ 
ures in Earthen Vessels; Geerhardus Vos, The Name “Lord” as used 
of Jesus in the Gospel; John H. Raven, Job’s Messianic Hope; Andrew 
Gillies, The Mystic in a Social Age; T. Bruce Birch, Informing and 

Bibliotheca Sacra, St. Louis, October: W. F. Albright, Archaeo- 



logical Discovery in the Holy Land; William Ewing, The Samaritans 
and their Sacred Law; David L. Holbrook, Point of View in the First 
Chapter of Genesis; G. B. McCreary, The Intuitional Apologetic— 
Faith’s Defence from her own Citadel; James L. Kelso, Key Cities of 
Paul’s Missionary Program. 

Church Quarterly Review, London, October: Arthur C. Headlam, 
The Christian Belief in God; Nicholas N. Glubokovsky, Union, In¬ 
tercommunion and the Lambeth Conference; R. DeBary, The Philos¬ 
ophy of Power Redemptive in Christian Worship; F. Harold Smith, 
Trinities of Non-Christian Religions; G. H. Box, Judaism and Hellen¬ 
ism; F. T. Woods, The Catholicism of the Future; C. C. J. Webb, Mr. 
Bosanquet on Contemporary Philosophy; A. Caldecott, A New Inquiry 
into the Belief in God and Immortality. 

East & West, London, October: F. W. C. Kennedy, Immigration— 
a Canadian Problem; E. F. Brown, Pandita Ramabai; E. H. Whitley, 
Chota Nagpur: a Retrospect and Prospect; R. P. Wilder, Where East 
Meets West; C. C. Watts, Coloured Races in South Africa; W. C. B. 
Purser, A Mission to the Blind of Burma; A. J. C. Allen, Jesuit Mis¬ 

Expositor, London, October: J. M. Creed, Some recent Tendencies 
in the Criticism of the Gospels; Rendel Harris, Artificial Variants in 
the Text of the New Testament; Edith A. Robertson and J. A. Robert¬ 
son, The Baptism of Christ; James R. Cameron, “Some Notes on the 
Development of Jesus”; J. H. Leckie, The Ferguson Heresy Case: a 
page in Scottish Church History; W. A. Craigie, Beginning of St. 
Mark’s Gospel; A. E. Baker, The Parables and the Johannine Problem. 
The Same, November: G. H. Box, Jewish Apocalyptic in the Apostolic 
Age; A. T. Robertson, A New Turn in the Johannine Criticism; B. W. 
Bacon, Wrath “unto the Uttermost”; A. Fawkes, Antonio Fogazzaro; 
James R. Cameron, Some Notes on the Development of Jesus. The 
Same, December: Henry J. Cadbury, The Knowledge Claimed in 
Luke’s Preface; Adolf Deissmann, Letter of Zoilos; Edith A. Robert¬ 
son and J. A. Robertson, Jesus’ Preaching in Capernaum; G. H. Box, 
Jewish Apocalyptic in the Apostolic Age; Hunter Smith, The Universal 
Christ and the Brotherhood of Man; H. J. Flowers, Healing of the Cen¬ 
turion’s Servant. 

Expository Times, Edinburgh, September: Notes of Recent Exposi¬ 
tion; C. J. Cadoux, The Early Christian Church in Egypt; S. Tonkin, 
The Psychology of the Twelve. The Same, October: Notes on Recent 
Exposition; A. E. Garvie, The Nature of Redemption; Arthur J. Gos¬ 
sip, A Communion Meditation; J. G. Tasker, Theology and Religion; 
W. D. Niven, The New Strasbourg; H. R. Mackintosh, Wobbermin; 
A. T. Clay, The Early Amorite King Humbaba. The Same, Novem¬ 
ber: Notes of Recent Exposition; William L. Davidson, George Adam 
Smith; J. Vernon Bartlet, The Epistle to the Hebrews Once More; 
A. E. Garvie, The Nature of Redemption; A. H. Sayce, A Hebrew De¬ 
luge Story in the Cuneiform. 


Homiletic Review, New York, November: Worth M. Tippy, A 
Modern Southern Church Establishment; C. A. Beckwith, Christ and 
Christianity Creative; Alexander R. Gordon, The Preacher and the Old 
Testament; William J. May, Looking from the Pulpit; John H. Wil¬ 
ley, For the Benefit of my Creditors; W. M. Clow, The Gateway to In¬ 
dustrial Peace. The Same, December: C. H. Ranck, Recent Fiction 
Touching Bible Lands and Times; H. F. Cope, Will Children Read the 
Bible?; A. E. Bailey, Historic Relationship of Art to Christianity; 
F. Smith, The Renunciatory Element in Self-realization in the Non- 
Synoptic Gospel; F. H. Vizetelly, Charms of English Speech. 

International Journal of Ethics, Concord, October: S. Radhakrish- 
nan, The Hindu Dharma; R. Kingsdown Pemberton, Commensura- 
bility of Values; Rupert C. Lodge, Genesis of the Moral Judgment in 
Plato; C. F. Taeusch, Sanctioning International Peace; O. Fred 
Boucke, Relation of Ethics to Social Service; Claude C. H. William¬ 
son, Hamlet. 

Irish Theological Quarterly, Dublin, July: Aug. Blaudau, The 
“Comma Johanneum” in the Writings of the English Critics of the 
Eighteenth Century; Edward J. Kissane, Mission of Esdras; F. E. 
O’Hanlon, Identity of the Risen Body; W. H. Gratton Flood, Some 
New Light on Pope Benedict IX. 

Journal of Negro History, Washington, October: Herbert B. Alex¬ 
ander, Brazilian and the United States Slavery Compared; George W. 
Brown, Origins of Abolition in Santo Domingo; Fred Landon, Can¬ 
adian Negroes and the Rebellion of 1837; Miles M. Fisher, Lott Cary, 
the Colonizing Missionary. 

Journal of Religion, Chicago, September: Eugene W. Lyman, Ra¬ 
tionality of Belief in the Reality of God; Kenneth Saunders, Pass¬ 
ing of Paternalism in Missions; Hapry F. Ward, Social Science and 
Religion; Samuel G. Inman, Religious Approach to the Latin-Amer- 
ican Mind; Carl S. Patton, Did Jesus Call Himself the Son of Man?; 
A. M. Sanford, Theological Doctrines and Social Progress. The Same, 
December: A. S. Woodburne, Can India’s Caste System Survive in 
Modern Life?; C. W. Emmet, The Modernist Movement in the Church 
of England; A. Eustace Haydon, From Comparative Religion to His¬ 
tory of Religions; Abraham Cronbach, Psychoanalysis and Religion; 
C. F. Maclennan, Religion and Anthropology; William H. Leach, 
Weakness of Protestantism in American Cities; Gerald B. Smith, Spirit 
of Evangelical Christianity. 

Journal of Theological Studies, London, October: J. Chapman, St. 
Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament; J. H. Michael, Text and Con¬ 
text of St. John 10:29; St. J. D. Seymour, Irish Versions of the Vision 
of St. Paul; H. N. Bate, Some Technical Terms of Greek Exegesis; 
C. H. Turner, On the Punctuation of St. John 7:37-38; C. H. Turner, 
On MS veron. LI (49) of the Works of Maxim(in)us. 

London Quarterly Review, London, October: Sydney Cave, Finality 
of the Christian Religion; Coulson Kernahan, John Masefield’s Poems; 



H. Crawford Walters, The Problem of Buddhism; Frank Ballard, 
The Truth concerning Occult Phenomena, with a reply by Judge Bodkin; 
A. M. Chirgwin, Birth of a Race; T. H. S. Escott, James Viscount 

Lutheran Church Review, Philadelphia, October: Preserved Smith, 
Unpublished Letters of the Reformers; Henry Offermann, Luther’s 
German Bible; J. C. F. Rupp, Rule of Authority in Religious Thought; 
Kund Heiberg, Nerayan Vaman Tilak. 

Lutheran Quarterly, Gettysburg, October: Rees E. Tulloss, Aims in 
a College Education; L. B. Wolf, The Hindu Saint; John A. Faulkner, 
Four German Protestant Mystics; J. Kent Rizer, Erasmus and Luther; 
J. F. Springer, The Misplacement in Hosea; Herbert C. Alleman, A. 
Hebrew Deluge Story. 

Methodist Quarterly Review, Nashville, October: Wilbur F. Tillett, 
Hand of God in American History; A. H. Godbey, Shylock in the Old 
Testament; James F. Jenness, Will the Church Secure a New Grip on 
Vital Truths?; John C. Montgomery, Shall We be Pessimists?; E. W. 
Alderson, Is there a Galatian Problem ?; S. A. Steel, Athens; David M. 
Key, Omar, The Fugitive Moment, and Americanitis. 

Moslem World, New York, October: Samuel M. Zwemer, Where 
the Stones Cry Out; Dwight M. Donaldson, Modern Persian and Af¬ 
ghan Thinking; I. Lilias Trotter, Superstitions in Algeria; Dalton 
Galloway, The Resurrection and the Judgment in the Koran; R. W. 
Caldwell, Chart of Arabic Literature; S. A. Morrison, A New Ap¬ 
proach to the Moslem Student; Henry Rusillon, Islam in Madagascar; 
W. H. T. Gairdner, The Study of Islamics; J. Robertson Buchanan, 
Moslem Education in Syria. 

New Church Life, Lancaster, October: W. E. Brickman, Our Sun¬ 
day School; W. L. Gladish, Knowing God; Alfred Acton, Two’ New 
Writings by Swedenborg. The Same, November: Ernest Deltenre, 
The Word of Divine Revelation; George de Charms, Need for New 
Church Education; W. H. Alden, Sadhu Sundar Singh. The Same, 
December: R. J. Tilson, The Word of the Old Testament; Albert 
Bjorck, The Word of the Writings; Gustaf Baeckstrom, The Time 
of Death. 

Open Court, Chicago, September: Roy P. Lingle, Petra; Dudley 
Wright, Islamic Influences on Jesuit Origins; Sanford A. Moss, Evolu¬ 
tion of Social Qualities; Herman Jacobsohn, The Challenge of Asia; 
Julius J. Price, How the Rabbis Regarded the Commandments. The 
Same, October: Victor S. Yarros, Social Ideals and Human Nature; 
Catherine B. Ely, Whitman and the Radicals; Roland Hugins, The 
new Literature of Approach; T. Swann Harding, Limitations of the 
Religious Concept; William Weber, Two Answers to the Challenge 
of Jesus. The Same, November: C. O. Webeb, Common Ground of 
Liberalism and Fundamentalism; J. O. Leath, Jesus’ Concept of Him¬ 
self and of His Mission on Earth; Hardin T. McClelland, Romanticism 
and Government; William Weber, Two Answers to the Challenge of 


Reformed Church Review, Lancaster, October: Elmer L. Coblenz, A 
Theology for the Social Gospel; Edward C. Moore, College Studies Pre¬ 
paratory to the Seminary Course; A. W. Krampe, Our German Work in 
the Reformed Church in the United States; Harold B. Kerchner, The 
Institutional Church and the City Problem; Henry K. Miller, Why Be¬ 
come a Foreign Missionary?; D. Webster Loucks, Guides and Guards 
for the Ministry’s Maintenance. 

Review and Expositor, Louisville, October: Edward B. Pollard, 
Science and Salvation; James Dunlop, A Study in Preaching; J. A. 
Faulkner, Were the Early Christians Mystics?; Oscar L. Joseph, Mod¬ 
ern India and Rabindranath Tagore; William W. Everts, Philosophy 
with no Hope in the World; W. A. Jarrel, Imprecatory Psalms. 

Southern Journal of Theology, Seminary Hill, October: W. T. Con¬ 
ner, Eddyism versus Christianity; H. E. Dana, Influence of the Bap¬ 
tists upon the Modern Conception of the Church; W. E. Denham, Lec¬ 
tures on Genesis—God’s New Plan for Human Redemption; B. A. Co¬ 
pass, Relation of Culture to Effective Service; R. T. Bryan, Some 
Things Accomplished in China; B. H. Carroll, Our Articles of Faith— 
Grace in Regeneration; N. R. Drummond, An Adequate Educational 

Union Seminary Review, Richmond, October: T. C. Johnson, A 
Prince and a Great Man; T. P. Harrison, Recent Tendencies in Litera¬ 
ture ; J. G. Venable, God’s Call to the Church; Frazer Hood, Psychology 
and its Value to the Preacher; B. R. Lacy, An Introduction to Paul’s 
Spoken Messages; P. H. Hill, A Working Program for a Worth-While 

Yale Review, New Haven, October: Frederick J. Turner, Sections 
and Nations: R. C. Leffingwell, War Debts; Zona Gale, The Novel 
and the Spirit; Emma Ponafidine, The Famine and the Bolsheviki; 
Henry van Dyke, The Fringe of Words; Francis E. Clarke, The Men¬ 
ace of the Sermon; David S. Smith, Modern Music—a Suggestion; 
Frederick E. Pierce, The Destructibility of Literary Genius; Paul L. 
White, American Manners in 1830; Alexander Petrunkevitch, Waste¬ 
ful Nature. 

Biblische Zeitschrift, Freiburg i. B., xvi: l / 2 \ J. Goettsberger, Die 
Hiille des Moses nach Ex 34 and 2 Kor 3; Joseph Slaby, Gn 41, 41-42 
und die altagyptischen Denkmaler; P. S. Landersdorfer, Eine sumeri- 
sche Parallele zu Psalm 2; Hermann Dieckmann, Das fiinfzehnte Jahr 
des Tiberius; Heinrich J. Vogels, Der Apostelkatalog bei Markus in 
der altlateinischen Ubersetzung; Alfons Schulz, Das Wunder zu 
Kana in Lichte des Alten Testaments; Erasmus O. Nagl, Die Gliederung 
des ersten Johannesbrifes. 

Bilychnis, Roma, Settembre: G. Rensi, Incompresibilita e religione; 
M. Rossi, Per il culto nel giorno del Signore; B. Vigna del Ferro, Pen- 
sieri di G. Mazzini sull’immortalita dell’anima. The Same, Ottobre: 
A. Nappi-Modona, Un frammento della “Didache” in un papiro d’Os- 
sirinco; La vita odierna della Chiesa ortodossa russa; G. E. Meille, Per 



vedere Iddio. The Same, Novembre: A. Neppi-Modona, II “pastore 
d’Erma” in un recente papiro d’Ossirinco; G. Pioli, Un riformatore 
cattolico ; G. Costa, Pipistrelli o pilastri? 

Bulletin de Litterature Ecclesiastique, Toulouse, Mai-Juin: Pierre J. 
Monbrun, La Lutte “philosophique” en province; E. Levesque, Fenelon 
et les candidats a l’episcopat; Louis de Lacger, La regie mitigee de 
Citeaux au Xlle siecle; F. Cavallera, Les pseudepigraphes et l’ancienne 
litterature chretienne. 

Ciencia Tomista, Madrid, Septiembre-Octubre: Francisco MarIn- 
Sola, La canonization de los Santos y la fe divina; Matias Garcia, Fray 
Diego de Deza, campeon de la doctrina de Santo Tomas; P. Lumbreras, 
El merito teologico y sus divisiones; Venancio D. Carro, De Teologia 
historica. The Same, Noviembre-diciembre: Luis G. Alonso-Getino, 
Fundo Santo Domingo el Rosario; Jacobus M. Ramirez, De ipsa philoso- 
phia in universam secundum doctrinam aristotelico-thomisticam (con.) ; 
Jost M. Aguado, Obras de Santa Teresa; V. Beltran de Heredia, 
Cronica del movimento tomista. 

Gereformeerd Theologisch Tijdschrift, Aalten, September: S. Greij- 
danus, Onmisbaarheid van God en Zijne Hulp; P. van Dijk, Het 
gekrookte riet en de roonkende vlaswiek. The Same, October: J. Rid- 
derbos, Jesaja en de zonden van zijn tijd; Verslag der llde Algemeene 
Vergadering der Vereeniging van Predikanten. The Same, November: 
Verslag der llde Algemeene Vergadring der Vereeniging van Predikan¬ 
ten; L. Lindeboom, Jezus Christus en die gekruisigd het kenmerk der 
Apostolische prediking. 

Gregorianum, Romae, Septembri: L. J. Walker, Anglia quaerens 
fidem ii; G. Mattiussi, Determinazioni idealiste; H. Lennerz, “Salva 
illorum substantia” i; A. D’Ales, Novatien et le doctrine de la Trinite 
a Rome au milieu du troiseme siecle. 

Logos, Napoli, Luglio-Dicembre: Boris Jakovenko, II cammino della 
conoscenza filosofica; Giuseppi Rensi, La volatilizzazione di Dio; C. 
Ranzoli, II problema delle azioni a distanza; P. Masson-Oursel, Le 
positivisme mystique de l’lnde; Guido D. Valle, Le antinomie della 
valutazione; Giuseppi Epifanio, II sonno in psichiatria; Cosmo Guas- 
telli, La teoria di Einstein e il fenomenismo; Paoli Serini, Bergson e 
lo spiritualismo francese del sec. XIX. 

Nieuwe Theologische Studien, Groningen, V: 7/8: J. de Zwaan, 
Christendom en geestelijke stroomingen in den Keizertijd; J. de Zwaan, 
De tweede druk van Boussets Kyrios Christos; A. J. de Sopper, Filoso¬ 
fica ; H. M. van Nes, Zendingsarbeid. 

Recherches de Science Religieuse, Paris, Mai-Aout: Adhemar 
d’Ales, Marcion: la reforrne chretienne deuxieme siecle; Jean Cales, 
Les trois discours prophetiques sur l’Emmanuel; Prosper Schepens, 
L’epitre de Singularite clericorum du psuedo-Cyprien. 

Revista de Cultura Religiosa, S. Paulo, 1:3: Vincente Themudo, A 
Hollanda e a Reforma no Brasil; Miguel Gekeler, Philanthropia 
Christa; Albertino Pinheiro, Jesus; Othoniel Motta, O Material- 
ismo e a Litheratura. 



Revue Benedictine, Paris, Octobre: G. Morin, Fragments pelagiens 
inedits du ms. 954 de Vienne; Le texte des cantiques aux Vigiles de Noel, 
d’apres l’usage monastique primitif; A. Wilmart, Le vrai pontifical de 
Prudence de Troyes. 

Revue d’Ascetique et de Mystique, Toulouse, Octobre: Constitution 
Apostolique de S. S. Pie XI; F. Cavallera, La Spiritualite des Exer- 
cices; L. Gougaud, La “Theoria” dans la spiritualite medievale; J. de 
Guibert, Dons du saint-esprit et mode d’agir “ultra humain” d’apres S. 
Thomas; A. Wilmart, La fausse lettre latine de Macaire; H. Bremond, 
Bcole Ignatienne et scole Berulienne. 

Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie religieuses, Strasbourg, Juillet- 
Aout: S. Rocheblave, Etude sur Joseph de Maistre; C. Blondel, La 
Psychanalyse; L. P. Horst, L’extrase chez les prophetes d’Israel; 
A. Causse, Quelques remarques sur la psychologie des prophetes; R. 
Will, La liberte chretienne chez Luther. The Same, Septembre-Oc- 
tobre: P. Lobstein, Une lacune dans la philosophie religieuse du 
XVIIIe siecle; R. Rocheblave, Etude sur Joseph de Maistre (con.); 
A. Lecerf, De la necessite d’une restauration de la dogmatique calvin- 
iste; J. D. Benoit, Le principe de la souverainte absolue de Dieu peut-il 
servir de base a une restauration dogmatique? 

Revue d’Histoire Ecclesiastique, Louvain, Avril,-Juillet: L. van der 
Essen, Alfred Cauchie, l’initaiteur, le savant, l’homme; A. Pelzer, Les 
51 articles de Guillaume Occam censures, en Avignon, en 1326; J. de 
Ghellinck, Un eveque bibliophile au XlVe siecle, Richard Aungerville 
de Bury. 

Revue de Theologie et de Philosophie, Lausanne, Juillet-Septembre: 
Philippe Bridel, De la religion comme principe indispensable a la vie 
de l’humanite; Philippe Daulte, Franz Leenhardt; Robert Werner, 
Partis et conflits d’idees dans l’anglicanisme contemporain; Arnold Rey- 
mond, Le pragmatisme religieux; Jean de la Harpe, L’energie univer- 

Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Theologiques, Paris, Octobre: 
Franqois Vial, Les arguments de M. Einstein; P. Madonnet, La “ruine” 
des dantologues. 

Rivista Trimestrale di Studi Filosofici e Religioso, Perugia, iii 13: 
G. Furlani, II significato di ypostasis in ad Hebr. 1:3: A. Biamonti, 
L’etica di Metodio d’Olimpo; M. Fermi, S. Paoplo negli Apologisti 
greci del III secolo, iii; M. Zappala, Taziano e lo Gnosticismo. 

Zeitschrift fur katholische Theologie, Innsbruck, xlvi:4: Johann 
Stufler, 1st Johannes von Neapel ein Zeuge fur die praemotio phys- 
ica?; Artur Landgraf, Johannes Picardi de Lichtenberg O. Praed. und 
seine Quaestiones disputatae; Urban Holzmeister, Die Magdalenen- 
frage in der kirchlichen Uberlieferung, ii. 

Zeitschrift fiir Theologie und Kirche, Tubingen, 30:5: Theodor 
Siegfried, Wie is Gotteserkenntnis iiberhaupt moglich ?; F. Gogarten, 
Offenbarung und Zeit ; R. Liechtenhan, Die Ueberwindung des Leides 
bei Paulus und in der zeitgenossischen Stoa. 


By Robert Dick Wilson, Ph.D., D.D., Professor of Semitic Philology and 
Old Testament Criticism in Princeton Theological Seminary. With a Fore¬ 
word by Philip E. Howard. Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times, 
1922. Price 25 cents. London: Marshall Bros., 1923. Price 1 sh. 

“The book is a veritable arsenal of ammunition with which to demolish the 
critical theories.”—Howard Agnew Johnston, in Scientific Christian Thinking 
for Young People. 


By Charles R. Erdman, D.D. New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1922. 
Crown octavo, pp. 128. 

As a member of the Princeton Theological Faculty, as a delegate of the 
Presbyterian Board of Missions and as a leader in a long series of important 
conferences, Professor Erdman was afforded unusual opportunities for in¬ 
vestigating the forces now contending for mastery in the Orient. However, 
he never centers the interest of his narrative upon mere personal experiences, 
but upon the avenues of approach, the great wide gateways, opening before 
those who are bringing to the nations that Christian Gospel which is held to 
be the hope of the Far East. 


By J. Gresham Machen, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923. To ap¬ 
pear in February. Price about $1.50. 

Being convinced that historic Christianity and the naturalistic liberalism now 
widely prevalent in the Church are not two varieties of the same religion, but 
two distinct religions, the author endeavors to present the issue between the 
two as clearly as possible in order that the reader may be aided in deciding it 
for himself. The “liberal” and the evangelical way of thinking are contrasted 
as they concern (1) Doctrine, (2) God and Man, (3) the Bible, (4) Christ, 
(5) Salvation, (6) the Church. 


By J. Gresham Machen. The James Sprunt Lectures delivered at Union 
Theological Seminary in Virginia. New York: The Macmillan Company, 
Second Printing, 1923. Price $1.75. 

“Professor Machen’s work commands respect. It is worthy of a high place 
among the products of American biblical scholarship”— B. W. Bacon, in The 
Evening Post (New York). 

“Dr. Machen . . . has written a book which, while obviously the result of 
careful study, is not too academic to interest the general theological reader.”— 
The Times (London). 

“This is a book which it would be difficult to overpraise.” — The Church 
Quarterly Review (London). 


By Charles R. Erdman. New York: George H. Doran Company. Crown 
8vo. pp. xiv, 108. Price $1.00. 

As the author states, “the purpose of this book is to deepen conviction and 
to promote harmony of belief concerning the return of Christ.” The doctrine 
is treated not as “the foundation” but as “the capstone of the Christian faith.” 
The writer “does not attempt to explain mysteries ... he emphasizes the 
cardinal truth that the great duty resting upon all those who accept the Lord 
Jesus Christ . . . is to preach ‘this gospel of the kingdom in all the world 
. . . and then shall the end come.’ ”— The Moravian. 


By J. Gresham Machen. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923. Will 
probably appear in March. 

This textbook is intended both for students who are beginning the study of 
Greek and for those whose acquaintance W'ith the language is so imperfect 
that they need a renewed course of elementary instruction. The book does not 
deal w T ith classical Greek, but presents simply the New Testament usage.